Sat, 11 Nov 2000

A brief profile of some noted Huangs in Indonesia

JAKARTA (JP): A number of public figures originating from the Huang families can be found in Indonesia, varying from business people to professionals and community leader as well as politicians.

Among the best known, now deceased, are: * Oei Tiong Ham (1866 - 1924), a millionaire entrepreneur known locally as the "King of Sugar", whose Kian Gwan enterprises included sugar export, banking and shipping businesses. A community leader, with annual income in 1915 estimated at two million guilden, he made generous contributions to various schools in Java as well as in Singapore and he was made honorary major by the Dutch colonial government. * Abdul Karim Oei Tjeng Hien (1905 - 1988), a religious leader and factory owner who helped establish the Association of Chinese Indonesian Muslims (PITI). He was born in Padang, West Sumatra, and became chairman of the Board of Muhammadiyah (1939-52) of the Bengkulu chapter. His medical factory, Bintang Tujuh, is still operating. * Oei Tjoe Tat (1922 - 1996), a political activist and former state minister under president Sukarno. A staunch supporter of Sukarno, he was imprisoned without trial a few months after the attempted communist coup in 1965 by the New Order government under then president Soeharto. He was not released until 1977. He died of cancer, aged 74.

Other Huang public figures still living are, among others: * Christianto Wibisono (Huang Jianguo), born in Semarang, Central Java in 1945, a business consultant and journalist who moved to the United States after bloody anti-Chinese riots in May 1998. * Eka Tjipta Widjaya (Oei Ek Tjhong), born in Fujian, China, in 1923. The owner of the Sinar Mas business companies and Bank Internasional Indonesia, he was believed to be the second richest tycoon in Indonesia during Soeharto's reign. * Burhan Uray (Bong Swan An), born in 1931, the boss of the Djajanti Timber Group who was granted millions of hectares of forest concessions in Kalimantan and Irian Jaya. His wife was a former Taiwan TV actress. (ego)