“I received the sad news from Indonesia that my close and trusted friend who was also the third president of Indonesia Bacharuddin Jusuf Habibie passed away today.”
The president passed away yesterday evening after undergoing intensive treatment since his admission to the Rumah Sakit Pusat Angkatan Darat Gatot Soebroto on Sept 1.
After an operation in Germany, Habibie, who was living in the country had Anwar staying in his house to recuperate. Anwar has not forgotten Habibie’s friendship in his difficult years.
Following his release from prison in 2004, Anwar had a spinal operation in Munich and stayed at Habibie’s house.
“BJ Habibie was an individual I considered family, and he was very concerned about the suffering I went through while I finished my operation after being freed from prison.
He thanked Habibie and the former Indonesian president’s late wife Ainon for looking after him during that difficult time.
“He was a humble man, with lengthy and intelligent discourse and he was no ordinary politician,” recalled Anwar in a Facebook post.
“BJ Habibie spoke from confidence as well as from conscience. This was something unique from a great figure and a great leader who will surely be missed by all parties,” said Anwar.
He expressed condolences on behalf of his party PKR.
Malaysian Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad also said he is saddened by the loss of his old friend, Bacharuddin Jusuf Habibie, 83.
Habibie served as Indonesian president from 1998 to 1999. At that time, Dr Mahathir was in his first tenure as PM.
On Twitter, Dr Mahathir describes BJ Habibie’s death as “a big loss”.
“He is my good friend, so I feel very sad. He must have been very sick; I haven’t seen him in a long time.
“I offer my condolences to his family, ” said Dr Mahathir to reporters after attending Binary University’s 35th anniversary gala dinner here.
BJ Habibie died of heart failure at Jakarta’s Gatot Soebroto Army Hospital on Wednesday.
Indonesian President Joko Widodo paid his respect to Habibie at the hospital RSPAD Gatot Soebroto after hearing the news of the latter’s passing.
Joko Widodo met with BJ Habibie family to express his condolences. -/TISG