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KH Idham Chalid, one of RI's best politician-cum-ulema

KH Idham Chalid, one of RI's best politician-cum-ulema
Jakarta, NU Online
Indonesia has lost one of its best sons with the demise of KH Idham Chalid, whom the President has seen him as a great national figure with equally great ideas, at the age of 88 years old on Sunday, July 11, 2010.

"We know him as a great figure with equally great ideas who has made tremendous contributions to the state and nation," President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono said in remarks when paying his last respects to the late Idham Chalid at the deceased`s home.r />
Idham Chalid served as deputy prime minister twice during the Soekarno era. He continued to serve the country under Soeharto by holding several ministerial posts, chairman of the MPR (People`s Consultative Assembly)/DPR (House of Representatives), and Supreme Advisory Council (DPA).

He had also led the country`s largest Muslim organization Nadhlatul Ulama (NU) for 28 years.

"We also remember him during the organization of political life in the Soeharto administration. He was also the architect with extraordinary wisdom when participating in rearranging the political party life, and he was accepted by all sides sincerely," the president was quoted by Antara news agency as saying.

Yudhoyono also praised Idham Chalid as a national figure who contributed a lot to the political, religious and educational fields in the country.

On behalf of the nation, the government and himself personally, the president expressed deep condolences to the family of the late Idham Chalid.

Earlier on Sunday, Vice President Boediono visited the house of mourning to pay his last respects to the former NU leader in Cipete, South Jakarta.

Dr. Idham Chalid passed away at his home in the Darrul Maarif educational complex in Cipete, Sunday at 8 am local after fighting stroke for 10 years.

Born in Setui, South Kalimantan, on August 27, 1922, he is survived by 16 children, 35 grand children and 17 great grandchildren.

Upon his wish, his body was buried at the Darul Qur`an Islamic Boarding School complex in Cisarua, Bogor, on Monday. The government prepared a military funeral in appreciation for his services to the state and nation.

"He had ever stated his will to be buried at the compound of this boarding school," Head of the Darul Qur`an Islamic Boarding School Hasanudin said here Monday.

The Darul Qur`an Islamic Boarding School itself was founded by the former Nahdlatul Ulama (NU) leader for orphans in 1969.

Representing the state, Minister for Religious Affairs Suryadharma Ali led the burial, which was attended by about a thousand people.

Suryadharma Ali, concurrently chairman of the Islam-based United Development Party (PPP), said Chalid was an exemplary figure especially in the fields of religion and politic.

During his life, besides ever leading NU from 1956 to 1984, he was also chairman of MPR/DPR from 1972 to 1977. The late Idham Chalid was also known as the founder of the Islam-based United Development Party (PPP).

A noted Nahdlatul Ulama (NU) figure said in Semarang (Central Java), Sunday (July 11) that Idham Chalid was the "father of politics of NU" due to his influential political thoughts and career.

"The political thoughts of Idham Chalid are so influential and relevant to the nature of NU followers. Moreover, he had a long career in politics," K.H.Ahmad Mustofa Bisri said.

The owner of Raudlatul Thalibin Islamic Boarding School said Idham Chalid had great contribution to the birth of NU cadres in Indonesian politics.

If the NU cadres were asked about Chalid`s contribution, they would definitely recognize his, said Bisri, whose popular nickname is Gus Mus.

"Idham Chalid has a belief that the goals of the struggle of Indonesians and religion (Islam) can effectively be achieved through politics. Therefore, he chose politics as his way of struggle," Gus Mus said.

Due to his long leadership in NU, his political thoughts might have affected lots of NU cadres and followers, he said.

His death had left a deep grief to the NU members because of his great contributions to the organization during his life time, Gus Mus said.

In Jakarta, NU General Chairman Said Aqil Siroj remembered Idham Chalid as a figure of moderate ulema-cum politician.

"He is acceptable to anywhere and always maintains neutrality, not extremism," Aqil Siroj said.

Meanwhile, the United Development Party (PPP) has proposed a three-day national mourning day for Chalid`s the demise.

"In observance of the late Idham Chalid`s services, PPP called for a national mourning day and the hoisting of the flag half-mast for three days beginning today," PPP Deputy secretary M Romahurmuziy said in Jakarta on Sunday.

PPP also proposed to the government to confer the national hero title on the Late Cholid for his services to the Indonesian state and nation. (dar)

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