Indonesians bury former president Habibie at state funeral

Indonesians bury former president Habibie at state funeral

BJ Habibie, who oversaw Indonesia’s transition to democracy, dies

Indonesia's former president B J Habibie passed away on Wednesday, 11 September at 83, according to reports.

Habibie died at a military hospital in the capital after suffering from heart failure.

Habibie was vice president when he was tapped to direct Indonesia by Suharto as the army dictator's 32-12 months keep on power crumbled in May well 1998 all through a pupil uprising and a devastating financial crash.

An engineer educated in Indonesia, the Netherlands and Germany, Mr Habibie spent almost two decades working for German aircraft maker Messerschmitt-Boelkow- Blohm, before returning to Indonesia in 1974 to help lead Suharto's campaign to industrialise the economy. Habibie, who allowed democratic reforms and an independence referendum for East Timor following the ouster of the dictator Suharto, has been buried at a state funeral.

In announcing his death Wednesday, President Widodo praised Habibie as the "father of Indonesian technology".

Countless numbers of mourners lined the streets of the funds, Jakarta, to look at the motorcade carrying the entire body of Indonesia's 3rd president to the Kalibata heroes' cemetery. He also allowed East Timor, the former Portuguese colony that Indonesia had ruled since 1975, to hold a referendum on their future.

Dr Habibie was laid to rest alongside his wife of 48 years, Madam Hasri Ainun Habibie, a medical doctor who died in 2010.

Indonesian militias deployed terror tactics to intimidate people into voting for continued union, but East Timorese voted overwhelmingly to split from Indonesia. "He gave us two options and now East Timor is a free of charge and impartial country".

Habibie served just 17 months in office, withdrawing from the October 1999 presidential election amid the continuing protests.

The brief meeting took place after Habibie's funeral at the Kalibata Heroes Cemetery here and was also attended by Indonesian Vice-President Jusuf Kalla.

Habibie was born in June 1936 in South Sulawesi and studied aviation and aerospace engineering in Germany and the Netherlands before returning home in the mid-1970s.

SBY expressed deep loss to journalists who were at the location; "I have a close personal relationship with [Habibie]", said SBY who said that the friendship between the two was established before Habibie became president.

Singapore leaders yesterday sent their condolences to his son, Mr Ilham Akbar Habibie, and his family.

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