President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo is set to award the title of national hero posthumously to six Indonesian figures on Heroes Day, which falls on Nov. 10, Social Affairs Minister Juliari Batubara has said.
“There are six national hero awardees this year,” Juliari said on Friday, as quoted by Antara.
Two of the awardees are from the country’s easternmost provinces, namely Sultan Baabullah from North Maluku and Machmud Singgirei Rumagesan from West Papua. The two figures will be the first national heroes from both provinces.
Sultan Baabullah was the seventh sultan of the Ternate Sultanate from 1570 to 1583. His influence reached as far as 72 islands including Mindanao Island in the Philippines and the Papuan Islands.
Baabullah defeated the Portuguese colonizers and led Maluku to its peak of glory at the end of the 16th century through free trade in spices and forest products.
Machmud Singgirei Rumagesan was the king of Sekar region, now Fakfak regency, who fought against the Dutch colonial government and later established the Tjendrawasih Revolutionary Movement of West Irian (GTRIB).
The GTRIB called on the Indonesian government to form a local government in Papua, led by native Papuans, as a part of Indonesia to rival the Dutch that still occupied the land after Indonesian independence in 1945.
The other four awardees are first National Police chief Gen. (ret) Raden Said Soekanto Tjokrodiatmodjo from Jakarta, former information minister Arnold Mononutu from North Sulawesi, Youth Congress figure Sutan Mohammad Amin Nasution from North Sumatra and warlord Raden Mattaher from Jambi.
Juliari said the nomination of the six historical figures had gone through a selection process in the Social Affairs Ministry and the Title, Order of Merit and Honors Council.
Soekanto Tjokrodiatmodjo led the National Police from 1945 to 1959. He was mandated by first President Soekarno to build a police institution with nationalism in mind. He was awarded the Bintang Mahaputra medal by President Soeharto in 1968 as a recognition of his professional accomplishments during his service.
Arnold Mononutu was a nationalist involved in the country’s struggle for independence, including supporting the notion of unifying the Dutch-established State of East Indonesia (NIT) with the Republic of Indonesia. Afterward, Arnold was appointed as the information minister. In 1953, he became the first Ambassador of Indonesia to China.
Sutan Mohammad Amin Nasution was an Acehnese-Mandailing lawyer who was also involved in the independence movement. He served as the governor of North Sumatra and later became the first governor of Riau. He was also one of the founders of the Young Indonesians organization, which later held the Second Youth Congress in Oct. 1928.
Raden Mattaher was a warlord of the Jambi Sultanate in the 19th century who also fought against Dutch colonial rule. In 1885, Mattaher and his great uncle Thaha Syaifuddin, the sultan of Jambi who was named a national hero in 1977, sunk a Dutch warship in the Kumpeh Muaro Jambi River. (aly)