Sorong, W Papua (ANTARA) - The residents of Doom Island in Sorong Kepulauan District, West Papua, mourned the passing of Indonesia's third president B.J. Habibie, flying the Red and White flag at half-mast at the district head's office Thursday.

Sorong Kepulauan District Head Steven Asmuruf expressed his deep condolences at the death of the former president calling him a respected statesman of Indonesia who had contributed immensely to Papua's development during his services and leadership.

Habibie was a great figure who studied abroad but was keen to return to Indonesia and implement his knowledge and skills for the technological development of the country, he said.

Therefore, the entire nation, including those in Doom Island, mourned Habibie's death, Steven Asmuruf said.

Earlier, in connection with the passing of Habibie, West Papua Governor Dominggus Mandacan encouraged the Papuan children to emulate this former president's excellence, visionary thoughts, and virtues because he was an inspiration.

With the passing of Habibie the nation felt a loss but what he had done for Indonesia was a good legacy for the country's future’s generations, Mandacan said.

While expressing his deep condolences at Habibie's passing, Mandacan appealed to the Papuan children and members of the younger generation in West Papua Province to emulate Habibie by pursuing big dreams of becoming smart, well-educated, and excellent technocrats like him.

West Papua Province does need excellent human resources to support its development, he said, adding that he never met Habibie personally but knew a lot about him from reading books and media reports.

Habibie was an inspiring figure, and all Papuan children need to be inspired. "I hope there will be geniuses like Habibie among our children," he said.

Like young Habibie who studied abroad but served the nation with his skills and thoughts when he returned to Indonesia, Mandacan also urged the people of West Papua currently studying abroad to return and develop their homeland.

The 83-year-old former president passed away at 6.05 p.m. Wednesday at the Gatot Subroto Army Hospital (RSPAD) where he was being treated by the best doctors, including those from the Presidential Doctors Team, since September 1.
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Translator: Ernes BK, Rahmad Nasution
Editor: Suharto
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