From left, 'Habibie & Soeharto' author Andi Makmur Makka, former minister Abdul Malik Fadjar and Dompet Dhuafa founder Parni Hadi at the book's launch at The Habibie Center in South Jakarta on Monday. (JG Photo/Nur Yasmin)

'Habibie & Soeharto': New Book Tells Real Story of Rift Between Two Former Presidents


FEBRUARY 17, 2020

Jakarta. A new book titled "Habibie & Soeharto" attempts to uncover the real story of the relationship between the two late former Indonesian presidents who fell out with each other during the last turbulent days of Soeharto's presidency in 1998 before Bacharuddin Jusuf Habibie supplanted him as president. 

Author Andi Makmur Makka said at the launch of the book at The Habibie Center in South Jakarta on Monday he wanted to retrace how the two first became close in the early 1950s until their infamous falling out in 1998. 

"I want people to know how Soeharto and Habibie got close. I wrote about Habibie's entry into the Soeharto government and his eventual rise as vice president," Andi said.

Andi said the book was mainly based on his interviews and chats with Habibie and his own research on Soeharto, whom he had never met. 

"I wanted to present a fair account of their relationship," he said.

Professor Abdul Malik Fadjar, a former minister in the Reformation government under Habibie's presidency, said the book is littered with Habibie's own words.

"A lot of the things I read in this book I had heard from Habibie himself," Abdul said.

The author is a former journalist and worked for the Research and Technology Ministry when Habibie was president. He is now a staff member at the Habibie Center and Dompet Dhuafa.

He has also written "Who Betrayed Soeharto: Testimonies of B.J. Habibie and 10 of His Last Ministers" and "Ainun Habibie: Unforgettable Memories From Her Closest Friends."