July 10, 2020

Indonesia fires former president Habibie at a mass funeral

Indonesia on Thursday celebrated the state funeral of the third president of the republic, Yusuf Habibie, who died the night before in Jakarta at age 83 due to a coronary disease and leaves the legacy of starting the democratic transition of the country at the end of the nineties.

The politician was buried among Islamic prayers and military greetings in a massive ceremony in the National Heroes cemetery of the capital where the Indonesian president, Joko Widodo, attended, and numbers representing the political, business and religious spheres.

"He was a true statesman, an inspiring scientist who believed that without love, intelligence is dangerous," said Widodo at the funeral, after the transfer of the body that was accompanied by thousands of people in the streets of the capital.

The eldest son of the deceased, Ilham Akbar Habibie, said his father fought "first, for technology and industry, second, for Islam and democracy in Indonesia, which are compatible."

Habibie, a renowned aeronautical engineer, began his political career in 1974 at the hands of his supporter Dictator Suharto, who ruled the Asian country from 1967 to 1998 with an iron fist, and held the position of Minister of Technology and Research for 20 years.

Despite his close relationship with Suharto, who appointed him vice president two months before resigning, Habibie carried out a series of drastic reforms that helped the recovery after the 1997 Asian economic crisis, made possible the 1999 elections and decentralized the Government .

In the midst of convulsive protests against Suharto, who ended up forcing the dictator's hand, the engineer legislated in favor of press freedom, amnestied political prisoners and opened the door to the referendum that gave East Timor independence, in 17 months of mandate.

The third head of State of Indonesia has remained linked to the political and technological development of his country as a moderate and respected pro-democratic figure.

Habibie trained as a scientist in Germany and worked at the German aerospace company Messerschmitt-Bolkow-Blohm (MBB), which was part of the Airbus consortium, and then led the development of the Indonesian aeronautical industry during his time as minister.

. (tagsToTranslate) Indonesia (t) says goodbye (t) former president (t) Habibie (t) crowd

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