Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Gus Dur passed away

Former president Abdurrahman Wahid (Gus Dur) has been struggling to recover in the past few days following medical treatment at Jakarta's Cipto Mangunkusumo Hospital. speculated that Gus Dur was in critical condition, especially after President SBY unexpectedly visited Gus Dur this afternoon. Few minutes ago, his brother Sholahudin Wahid told the press that Gus Dur passed away Wednesday, 18.45 PM Jakarta time.
Gus Dur once left the hospital on Sunday to visit the headquarter of Nahdlatul Ulama, the largest Moslem organization where Gus Dur is a former chairman. His daughter Yenny Wahid confirmed that Gus Dur passed away at 18.45 PM Wednesday, Dec 30 at RSCM hospital. What a big loss to the nation!
Born in 1940, Gus Dur is the fourth president of Indonesia. He was elected by the People's Consultative Assembly (MPR) in 1999. But MPR impeached Gus Dur in 2001 following the Bulog scandal, replaced by his VP Megawati Soekarnoputri.
Gus Dur is considered a controversial leader, but he is a steadfast advocate of pluralism in the country. Minority groups love him. In the words of Anas Urbaningrum, chairman of Demokrat faction in DPR, Gus Dur is the perfect combination of Islam, Indonesia, and modernism. "It's a big loss to the nation," Anas said.
He is famous for his cracking jokes, even when he was a president. His most famous quotation is "gitu aja koq repot" (why all the fuss or what's the big deal?) if criticized or asked about his views or suggestions.
Former president's spokesperson Adhie Massardi said "Gus Dur wants to be remembered as a good guy," Adhie said.
From her marriage to Shinta Nuriyah, Gus Dur has four daughters: Alissa Qotrunnada Munawaroh, Zanuba Arifah (Yenny) Wahid, Anita Hayatunnufus, and Inayah. Gus Dur graduated from Al Azhar University, Cairo, Egypt, and literature studies in Baghdad University, Iraq in 1970. He then became lecturer at University of Hasyim Asyhari, Jombang (1972-1974), member of advisory council of Nahdlatul Ulama in 1979-1984, and chairman of NU in 1984-1999.
Against all odds, he won the presidential election in 1999, in what politicians believed as the best option that time. He reshuffled his cabinet several times. SBY was initially installed as energy minister, but then promoted him to be the coordinating minister for politic, security, law, and human rights after he surprisingly fired Wiranto.
He is the first president to revoke Soeharto's decree which banned the Chinese from celebrating the Chinese New Year and other cultural events. He also appointed Kwik Kian Gie, from Chinese descent, as coordinating minister for the economy. Gus Dur is considered the most consistent pluralism figure. Rest in Peace Gus!




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