Fri, 15 Sep 2000

Sjahril visits ailing father

PADANG, West Sumatra: Sentiment dominated the reunion between suspended Central Bank governor Sjahril Sabirin and his ailing 91-year-old father at Yarsi Islamic Hospital in Bukittinggi on Thursday.

Sjahril, a suspect in the high-profile Bank Bali scandal, has been granted a five-day leave by the Attorney General's Office to visit his father, Ahmad Sabirin, who has been in hospital for 10 days for a heart condition.

Sjahril, who is being escorted by two officials of the Attorney General's Office, headed directly to the hospital to see his father and ask for forgiveness. Ahmad was surrounded by family members citing passages from the Koran when Sjahril arrived. When Ahmad saw Sjahril, he was speechless and his eyes welled up with tears.

Sjahril's younger sister, Gustini Sabirin, told reporters that Ahmad had been longing to see Sjahril and kept calling his name.

"We're really grateful that uda (older brother) Sjahril can come to visit and hope that his presence here will help improve father's condition," she said.

After learning that Sjahril was at the hospital, local residents went there to meet him in person and shake his hand. (28/lup)