President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo recognized four prominent Indonesians as the country’s heroes on Thursday (09/11), ahead of the National Heroes Day celebrations on Nov. 10.
The “national hero of Indonesia” title is awarded posthumously for extraordinary services to the nation.
Family members and descendants of Tuan Guru Muhammad Zainuddin Abdul Madjid of West Nusa Tenggara, Admiral Malahayati of Aceh, Sultan Mahmud Riayat Syah of Riau Islands and Prof. Lafran Pane of Yogyakarta received the awards from at the State Palace in Jakarta.
Each year, before the National Heroes Day celebrations, a team led by the Ministry of Social Affairs submits a list of candidates to receive the country’s highest recognition. This year, the team chose 10 names, including former President Abdurrahman Wahid.
Indonesia now has 173 national heroes, among whom 13 are women, Social Affairs Minister Khofiah Indar Parawansa said in a statement.
Tuan Guru Muhammad Zainuddin Abdul Madjid who died in 1997, was a nationalist Muslim leader and founder of Islam Nahdatul Wathan. He introduced and advocated emancipatory education in Lombok, West Nusa Tenggara.
Admiral Malahayati was the first Achehnese female admiral. She led the Sultanate of Aceh navy against Dutch colonizers in 1559. In 1606, she established a legion of female warriors, widows of Acehnese fighters, to struggle against colonization.
Sultan Mahmud Riayat Syah, who ruled the Sultanate of Riau, which back then covered parts of present -dayMalaysia, fought the colonizers in 1782-84 and defeated them. He refused to sign a peace agreement proposed by the Dutch and delegated his navy to help neighboring regions oppose the colonizer’s army.
Prof. Lafran Pane was an academic who in 1947 founded the Muslim Students Association (HMI). He advocated adherence to the state ideology of Pancasila, refusing the idea of establishing in Indonesia an Islamic or communist state.