REPUBLIKA.CO.ID, JAKARTA -- The Indonesian press is morally indebted to the country's third president B.J. Habibie who passed away on Wednesday, Governor of Jakarta Anies Baswedan has said. "The press, mass media, and journalism community are morally indebted to Habibie as he paved the way for the freedom of the press as we know it today," he said in the City Hall, Wednesday.
Aside from being the father of democracy who unclogged the lag in Indonesia's politics at the time, Habibie also rendered a service to the freedom of the press, through the stipulation of the Press Regulations during his time in office.
"He was not only the father of democracy, he was also the most meritorious man in making the press industry the way it is today. We are morally indebted to him," he said.
After the short interview, Anies left the City Hall and headed for the RSPAD Gatot Soebroto Army Hospital where Habibie was being treated since September 1 until his passing. The former president passed away at 6.05 p.m. Wednesday, at the age of 83.
He was being looked after by a team of specialist doctors with various fields of expertise, including heart, kidney, and internal diseases. The third president of Indonesia had previously been treated in Germany after experiencing a heart valve leak. The declining state of his health prompted a number of the country's figures to visit Habibie at the hospital.