Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Lady Politician to lead Indonesia Moslem Intellectuals

Dr Marwah Daud Ibrahim, a South Sulawesi-born politician and former candidate for vice president (she was the running-mate of Abdurrahman Wahid, one of the presidential candidates last year), has been elected as chairwoman of a presidium that would lead the Indonesian Moslem Intellectuals Association (ICMI).
In a voting early morning on Wednesday Dr Marwah defeated Hatta Radjasa (minister of transportation), Dr Muslimin Nasution (incumbent chairman), and noted sociologist Prof. Azyumardi Azra.
What a sweet birthday gift. Marwah born in November 8, 1956. Marwah's last name is her husband’s (Ibrahim Tadju).
Dr Marwah is the first woman elected to lead the heavily male organization since its establishment 15 years ago. Mother of three, Marwah graduated from Hassanuddin University in 1981 majoring in communication. She earned master degree in communication from International American University, Washington (1982) and PhD with distinction from the same university in 1989.
It was BJ Habibie (that time as minister of research and technology) who awarded a scholarship for PhD program to Marwah. Back from US, she work closely with Habibie, that time also as the chairman of ICMI.
ICMI enjoys huge political grip during last terms of Soeharto’s 32 years in power when its founder Prof BJ Habibie become the vice president. The organization’s influence heighten during Habibie’s presidency, following the downfall of Soeharto in 1998. As for Dr Marwah, she was active at Golkar Party as one of executives. And as a close aide to Habibie, she serves the national board of the party and as a member of the House of Representatives (DPR).
But a humiliating defeat of Habibie in 1999 election cost the organization’s declining influence in the country’s politic and economy. But Wahid stunned everyboddy with his maneuver to name Marwah as his running-mate in last year’s election. They failed even before the first round was started.
But that’s not the end for Marwah. She was one of candidates to replace Golkar Party chairman Akbar Tanjung, but failed in the last round to Jusuf Kalla. Now, she won the presidency of ICMI.
The organization regained the momentum to revitalize its influence since Jusuf Kalla (member of ICMI) became vice president. And it is interesting to see how Dr Marwah revive its political muscle. Golkar and ICMI were so close during Soeharto and Habibie years. Could it be the same during Kalla’s years?

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

dear yosef,
good intro about marwah and good info on icmi latest development.
well, let me ask u a light question about marwah presidentship: in ur opinion, she's elected as the icmi chairperson more on her capability and qualification or her being a makassar/ujung pandang origin, or both?

thanks yosef keep up da gud wurk.. :)

December 07, 2005 9:58 PM  
Blogger yosef ardi said...

It is a difficult question to answer. For me, marwah looks more as a politician than an intellectual. But it is depend on how you define 'intellectuals', right? She has a leader qualification, but whether she could lead intellectuals organization very much depend on to which direction the organization would move. A pure intellectual or political purpose. Off course her makassar origin helps too, taking into account the real politic in the country at the moment.

December 08, 2005 1:23 AM  

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