B. J. Habibie

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Habibie was born in Parepare, South Sulawesi(Province) on June 25, 1936 to Abdul Jalil Habibie and R. A. Tuti Marini Puspowardojo. His father was an agriculturist from Gorontalo and his mother was a Javanese noblewoman from Yogyakarta. His parents met while studying in Bogor. His father died when he was 14, and after his father's death, he travelled to Jakarta to continue his studies. In 1955, he flew to Germany to further his studies.[1] He successfully obtained his Dipl.-Ing. in 1960. After obtaining his degree, he remained in Germany as a research assistant for Hans Ebner at the Lehrstuhl und Institut für Leichtbau RWTH Aachen, while conducting research for his doctorate degree.[2]

In 1962, he travelled back to Indonesia for three months sick leave. During this time, he met Hasri Ainun, the daughter of R. Mohamad Besari. He and Ainun were childhood friends and knew each other since junior. They attended senior high school together at SMA-Kristen, Bandung. They married on May 12, 1962 and went to Germany later that month.[3]

They settled in Aachen for a short period before moving to Oberforstbach later that year. Habibie's minimum wage salary forced him to find a part time job. He choose to work for Talbot where he worked as adviser, where he contributed to two projects funded by Deutsche Bundesbahn, dan Talbot won both.[clarification needed] Due to his contribution to Makosh, the Head of Train Constructions offered his position to Habibie upon retirement 3 years later, but Habibie refused.[4]

In May 1963, his first son, Ilham Akbar Habibie, was born. In 1965, B. J. Habibie obtained his Dr.-Ing. after successfully defending his thesis with "Sehr Gut" (very good). During the same year, he accepted Dr.-Ing. Hans Ebner's offer to continue his research about Thermoelastisitas and Habilitation, but refused to join RWTH as a professor. Since his thesis about light construction in supersonic or even hypersonic, companies like Boeing and Airbus offered him to join their company, but he refused.[5]

During 1955–1965, he studied aerospace engineering at the RWTH Aachen University, Germany, receiving a Diploma (Germany's First degree certificate which is equivalent to Master in most countries) in 1960 and doctorate in 1965. He then worked for Messerschmitt-Bölkow-Blohm in Hamburg. His time spent in Europe might have made him interested in the Leica line of cameras.

While working in Messerschmitt-Bölkow-Blohm, he conducted many research assignments, producing theories on thermodynamics, construction, and aerodynamics, known as the Habibie Factor, Habibie Theorem, and Habibie Method, respectively.[citation needed]

When Habibie came back to Indonesia in 1974, he was made CEO of a new state owned enterprise called PT. Nurtanio. By the early 1980s it had grown considerably, specializing in making helicopters and small passenger planes. In 1995, he succeeded in flying an N-250 (dubbed Gatotkoco) commuter plane. He was assisted in his efforts by A.B. Wolff, former Chief of Staff of the Dutch Airforce.

In developing Indonesia's Aviation Industry, he adopted an approach called "Begin at the End and End at the Beginning".[6] In this method, things such as basic research became the last things that the workers at IPTN focused on, while actual manufacturing of the planes was placed as the first objective.

In 1985, PT. Nurtanio changed its name to Indonesian Aviation Industry and is now known as Indonesian Aerospace Inc. (Dirgantara).
Vice presidency

The 1998 People's Consultative Assembly (MPR) General Session was to be held in the midst of the Asian Financial Crisis and many were hoping for Suharto to take serious steps to take the country out of trouble. In January 1998, after accepting nomination for a 7th term as President, Suharto announced the criteria for the person who he wanted as Vice President. Suharto did not mention Habibie by name but his suggestion that the next Vice President should have mastery over science and technology made it obvious who he wanted to nominate.[7] The market reacted badly, causing the rupiah to further depreciate in value.

Despite protests and former Minister Emil Salim trying to nominate himself as Vice President, Habibie was elected as Vice President in March 1998.
Vice presidency

The 1998 People's Consultative Assembly (MPR) General Session was to be held in the midst of the Asian Financial Crisis and many were hoping for Suharto to take serious steps to take the country out of trouble. In January 1998, after accepting nomination for a 7th term as President, Suharto announced the criteria for the person who he wanted as Vice President. Suharto did not mention Habibie by name but his suggestion that the next Vice President should have mastery over science and technology made it obvious who he wanted to nominate.[7] The market reacted badly, causing the rupiah to further depreciate in value.

Despite protests and former Minister Emil Salim trying to nominate himself as Vice President, Habibie was elected as Vice President in March 1998.
[edit] Presidency
Main article: Post-Suharto Era
[edit] Rise to office
Habibie takes the presidential oath of office on 21 May 1998.

By May 1998, the increasing poverty caused by the Financial Crisis and political discontent had reached a boiling point. On May 13, the shooting of four students at Trisakti University in Jakarta, caused extreme anger which in turn caused widespread riots and lootings. There were now explicit calls for Suharto to step down as President of Indonesia. Suharto responded by saying on May 19, 1998 that if he stepped down, the Vice President would become President and in a not too subtle jab to Habibie, said that he was not sure whether the Vice President could solve the problems facing the country.[8]

After learning of Suharto's comments from television, he was upset with his mentor and from then on was increasingly sympathetic to those who wanted Suharto to step down. While careful not to oppose him directly or support those who did, he left the president in little doubt that he saw himself as Suharto's legitimate successor. Suharto, faced with dwindling civilian and military support, even among loyalists like Wiranto and Ginandjar Kartasasmita, decided to resign late on the evening of May 20, 1998.[9]

The next morning, on May 21, 1998, Suharto publicly announced his resignation and Habibie was immediately sworn in as President. There were mixed reactions to Habibie's assumption to the Presidency. Hardline reformists saw him as an extension of Suharto's regime while moderate reformists saw him as leading a transitional Government.

With the release of his 2006 book, Detik-Detik Yang Menentukan: Jalan Panjang Indonesia Menuju Demokrasi (Decisive Moments: Indonesia's Long Road Towards Democracy), there is speculation that Suharto had wanted Habibie to resign along with him.[10] In Javanese style, Suharto hinted at this intention subtly. Habibie, despite having Javanese roots from his mother, didn't take the hint and decided to take the office of the President. Because of this inability to read his intentions, Suharto showed nothing but contempt and never talked to him again.
[edit] Cabinet

Habibie's Cabinet, which was called the Development Reform Cabinet consisted mostly of the same faces which had served in Suharto's last Cabinet.[11] To show his reformist bent, he included United Development Party (PPP) member Hamzah Haz in the Cabinet.
[edit] East Timor

When he took office, he made it clear that East Timorese Independence was out of the question, but that he would consider giving East Timor special autonomy.[12] In January 1999, however, he surprised everyone by announcing that a referendum, choosing between special autonomy and independence, would be held in East Timor. This particular decision made him extremely unpopular with ABRI.

On 30 August 1999, the referendum was held and the East Timorese people chose overwhelmingly for Independence. However, the retreat of Indonesian troops from East Timor would not be peaceful as many people were killed during the crisis.
[edit] Suharto's corruption charge

The 1998 MPR Special Session in November declared that an investigation should be made into corruption charges especially that of Suharto's.

Habibie also thought of forming a special commission as a gesture of good faith towards Reformasi and invited noted lawyer Adnan Buyung Nasution to be on the commission. Nasution would ask for a lot of power in investigating the matter and Habibie rejected the offer. Instead, he appointed Attorney General and loyalist, Andi Muhammad Ghalib to head the investigation.

On 9 December 1998, Suharto was questioned for three hours by Ghalib. The Habibie Government declared that Suharto had gained his wealth through corruption.

A controversial tape was released which involved a telephone conversation between Habibie and Ghalib. The conversation seemed to suggest that Habibie's Government was not giving a serious attempt at investigating Suharto's corruption charges.[13]
[edit] The economy

Habibie's Government stabilized the economy after the chaos which it went through in the Asian Financial Crisis and the last few months of Suharto's Presidency.[14]
[edit] Social

Habibie's Government also began making concilliatory gestures towards Chinese Indonesians who because of their wealth and dominance of the Indonesian economy were targeted during the violence and looting. In September 1998, he issued a Presidential Instruction which does not allow for the discriminatorial reference to pribumi (Native) and non-pribumi (Non-Native).[15] In May 1999, he followed this up with another Presidential Instruction which states that a display of ID Card is enough to prove someone's Indonesian citizenship whereas before, displaying the Letter of Evidence of Republic of Indonesia Citizenship (SBKRI) was the norm.

Although they were not mentioned specifically, it is clear that these policies were targeted towards Chinese Indonesians who in the Suharto years were referred to as non-Pribumi and had to display SBKRI to prove their Indonesian citizenship.
[edit] Other

When he was a State Minister for Research and Technology, he created a program called OFP (Overseas Fellowship program), SMDP (Science and Manpower Development Program) and STAID (Science and Technology for Industrial Development). The three programs were to provide scholarships to thousands of students to continue their study for master’s and doctorate program in the United States, Europe, Japan, and others.
[edit] End of presidency

Although he had been viewed as leading a transitional government, he seemed determined to continue as president. In May 1999, Golkar announced that Habibie would be their presidential candidate.

At the 1999 MPR General Session in October, Habibie delivered an accountability speech which was a report of what he had achieved during his presidency. Once this was completed, MPR members began voting to decide if they would accept or reject his speech. During this process, pro-Reform members of Golkar broke with the ranks and voted against him, and his accountability speech was rejected 355 votes to 322. Seeing that it would be inappropriate to press his candidacy for the presidency after having his accountability speech rejected, Habibie withdrew his nomination.
[edit] Post-presidency

Since relinquishing the presidency, he has spent more time in Germany than in Indonesia, however he has during Susilo Bambang Yudoyono's presidency been active both as a presidential adviser and through The Habibie Centre to ensure democratisation in Indonesia.

In September 2006, he released a book called Detik-Detik Yang Menentukan: Jalan Panjang Indonesia Menuju Demokrasi (Decisive Moments: Indonesia's Long Road Towards Democracy). The book recalled the events of May 1998 which led to his rise to the Presidency. In the book, he controversially accuses Lieutenant General Prabowo Subianto, Suharto's son-in-law (at that time) and the Kostrad Commander, of planning a coup d'état against him in May 1998.
[edit] Family

Habibie was married to Hasri Ainun Besari, a medical doctor, from 12 May 1962 until her death on 22 May 2010. The couple had two sons, Ilham Akbar Habibie and Thareq Kemal Habibie. BJ Habibie's brother, Junus Effendi Habibie, is the current Indonesian ambassador to the Netherlands.[16][17]

Was Adolf Hitler A Right-Wing Ruler?

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The 1930s produced one of histories most infamous and destructive maniacs. The name of this maniac was Adolf Hitler who founded Nazi Germany (1943-1945). Tens of millions of people perished before his twelve-year reign ended. Many people today refer to his Nazi government as a right-wing organization. Let us carefully examine the facts to see exactly what form of government Hitler created and envisioned.

The letters in the name USSR actually represented the official name the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. The USSR was a Progressive Communist system founded upon principles as stated by the 1880s German philosopher Karl Marx. The official name of the Nazi party was National Socialism. Both the USSR founders and the Nazi founders used the Socialist name to describe their governments.

Another case in point is that the background color of the National Socialist flag of Germany was Socialist red and that Mao's Chinese Communist government used the same colored flag and as well as the Bolshevik government flag of Lenin and Joseph Stalin. Once again it appears that the Nazi party was a left-wing government.

The German government had a Secret Police department named the Gestapo whose role was to enforce unity without dissent. The Soviets had a Secret Police department named the KGB and the KGB's role was also to enforce unity without dissent. Both the Gestapo and KGB readily used violence to ensure compliance of their government's respective policies.

The Soviet system created a structure where the government had complete ownership of the land and all means of production. The Soviet government determined the type and quantity of products. The government determined the size of the workforce. The government also determined how much the workers were to be paid. The Soviet Regime also determined who was to receive the produced items. The Communist government set the price of the items. The Nazi system allowed for the private sector to own the businesses and keep all of the profits but the Nazi's controlled the market place. The Hitler Fascist controlled the means of production in the same manner as the Communist did. Hitler and his subordinates had complete control of the same elements of production as Stalin did in the USSR.

Most of the top leaders in the German Fascist Regime wore military style uniforms. Most of the Chinese, Soviet, North Korean, and Cuban Communist leaders also wore military uniforms. If wearing a military uniform is the true test for a right-wing government then all government leaders that wear a military uniform must be right-wing in nature. The Communist leaders that wear a military uniform must be right-wing if the Nazi's that wore a military uniform were right-wingers.

Social justice is the backbone of all socialist forms of government. Social justice was the theme of Communism and Fascism during the Twentieth Century. This is the same social justice theme of the Progressive Socialist of today. The actual actions of the Nazi's in Germany during the 1930s and 1940s appear to have been actions of a left-winged form of administration. Why does the contradiction exist about what form of government ruled in Germany over three score years ago?

The Nazi handbook stated that you had no comrades. Everyone was expendable in the pursuit of social justice. "Rules for Radicals" was an infamous Socialist book written by Saul Alinsky. Alinsky's book became popular in America during the late 1960s. Alinsky proposed similar tactics as those used by the Communist and Fascist governments in gaining power. It appears that the progressives felt that Hitler and his henchmen that proposed social justice were also expendable in order to preserve social justice for the future. The leftists apparently are attempting to rewrite the facts of history once again.

The facts about Adolf Hitler and his cronies support the concept that Germany had a progressive (socialist) system that led the German people to ruin. I have my own opinion about whether or not Hitler was a right-winger. You are entitled to your own opinion.

What do you think America? It's something for you to ponder over

Tom C Watson is one of the founders of a patriotic Web site that supports the original intent of the American "Constitution" and "The Bill of Rights". American patriots are requested to view what America needs to do by going regularly to http://fuddlemuckers.com/index.htm

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