Indonesia`s Habibie, president during transition to democracy, dies

Indonesia`s Habibie, president during transition to democracy, dies

Indonesia`s Habibie, president during transition to democracy, dies

Cabinet Secretary Pramono Anung fondly recollected the five memorable aspects of BJ Habibie, Indonesia's third president, who passed away in Jakarta on Wednesday.

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.

His unpopular presidency was the shortest in modern Indonesia's history, but was transformative.

His time in power was marked by his decision to allow a referendum on independence for the people of the former Portuguese colony of East Timor, which had been annexed by Indonesia in the 1970s.

Thousands of Indonesians gathered in Jakarta Thursday to bid their final goodbyes to former President B.J. Habibie.

Singapore Senior Minister Teo Chee Hean paid out his respects after arriving in Jakarta for a doing the job stop by on Wednesday.

"He was no ordinary politician", Anwar wrote on his Facebook page.

Zainal Abidin said at the meeting, Dr Wan Azizah conveyed condolences from the Malaysian government and people to the Indonesian government and its people on Habibie's death.

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said on Twitter early Thursday: "He led the Republic of Indonesia at a time of massive change".

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Habibie became the science and technology minister and applied his proximity to Suharto to go after pet initiatives, together with a state aircraft maker, a steel refinery and various protection-similar industries.

Habibie served for just 17 months as president - he withdrew from contention in the October 1999 election - and was succeeded by Abdurrahman Wahid, popularly known as Gus Dur.

"He added, "'I said... they have vision.

Responding to worldwide criticism of Indonesia's occupation of Portugal's former colony of Timor-Leste, Mr Habibie surprised Indonesians by announcing in January 1999 a plan to hold an independence referendum. On Oct. 20, 1999, Habibie withdrew from upcoming presidential elections.

Though he was a product of Suharto's "New Order" administration, which gave a strong political role to the military and stifled opponents, Habibie oversaw democratic reforms to free political prisoners and allow press freedom.

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.

The late Mr Habibie had studied aviation and aerospace engineering in Germany and the Netherlands in the 1960s.

The late president is survived by his two sons.

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