Tue, 16 Aug 1994

Nation gives top stars to its best sons

JAKARTA (JP): Four retired Army generals, three senior oil executives, three scientists, two journalists, a literary critic, a diplomat and an ulema were awarded yesterday the Bintang Mahaputra, Indonesia's highest meritorious service award.

All but one were present during the presentation ceremony led by President Soeharto at the State Palace, an event which is traditionally held before the nation marks its Independence Day every Aug. 17.

Soeharto presented Bintang Mahaputera Utama stars to 12 recipients and Bintang Mahaputra Nararya stars to three others.

The four generals who received the Bintang Mahaputra Utama awards were all seasoned statesmen with long service to the government even after they retired from the military.

Sayidiman Suryahadiprojo, a lieutenant general, formerly served as ambassador to Japan. He is now ambassador at large for African affairs.

Adnil Hasnan Habib, also a lieutenant general, was ambassador to the United States. He is currently ambassador at large for American affairs.

Abdul Rachman Ramly, a major general with long service in the intelligence division, was president of Tambang Timah and Pertamina, state companies for tin and oil, respectively, before becoming ambassador to the United States. He is now the chief executive officer of the giant PT Astra International.

Ibrahim Adjie, a retired lieutenant general, served as ambassador to Britain. He was not present at the ceremony yesterday apparently because of his failing health.

Faisal Abda'oe, the president of Pertamina, also received the Bintang Mahaputra Utama. Julius Tahija and Haroen Al Rasjid, two senior executives of PT Caltex Pacific Indonesia, an American oil contractor which accounts for over half of Indonesia's oil output, received the Bintang Mahaputra Nararya.

Nana Sutresna, a senior diplomat who heads the executive committee for the Non-Aligned Movement chairman, was awarded the Bintang Mahaputra Utama.

Three scientists also received the awards: Makaminan Makagiansar who heads the National Education Advisory Council, Samaun Samadikun who heads the Indonesian Institute of Sciences, and sociologist Selo Soemardjan.

Sjamsul Bachri and Lazarus Eduard Manahua, respectively, of Suara Karya and Pedoman Rakyat dailies, and Hasan Basrie, the chairman of the Indonesian Ulema Council, received the Mahaputra Bintang stars.

H.C.H.B. Jassin, the noted literary critic, was given the Mahaputra Nararya star.

The ceremony was attended by the relatives of the recipients.

"All praise to Allah, this came as a complete surprise to me," Jassin said after receiving the award. "I only work and work, never expecting to get anything in return. And I will continue to work after this award. There's still plenty to do."

He had Golkar, the ruling political organization, to thank since it recommended him to the government for the award. (emb)