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BJ Habibie, Indonesia’s renaissance leader

Bridget Welsh

Published
Modified 13 Sep 2019, 6:28 am

OBITUARY | Pak BJ Habibie, Indonesia’s third president from 1998-1999, passed away yesterday. He was 83.

Born in Parepare in South Sulawesi, Habibie was a man who embodied the hopes and ambitions of Indonesia’s post-colonial generation. He won a scholarship to study aeronautical engineering in Germany. Through his hard work and dedication to his studies, he succeeded in not only completing his doctorate, but also developed important foundational ideas in thermodynamics, construction, and aerodynamics that still hold his name. He rose to become the vice-president of Messerschmitt-Bolkow-Blohn in Hamburg, now part of Airbus.

Recruited by Suharto, Habibie returned to Indonesia in 1974 to contribute to the country’s industrialisation, particularly the aviation industry. He served in six different cabinets... 

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