Jakarta (ANTARA) - Indonesia's former vice president Jusuf Kalla extended his heartfelt condolences over the demise of Rizal Ramli, saying that the former coordinating minister for maritime affairs was his good friend.

Speaking to journalists who met him at the mourning house here on Wednesday, Kalla said his good friendship with Ramli continued, though they often had differing opinions on certain issues.

"During our presence in the state administration, I often had different opinions with Rizal, but our good friendship remains solid," Kalla, who paid his last respects to Ramli, remarked.

According to Kalla, Ramli was an activist whose actions were consistent with his thoughts. He became his partner for exchanging ideas on food-related issues when they were both in State Logistics Agency (Bulog).

"I have a good memory when he (Rizal Ramli) replaced me as the Bulog head. We always discussed food issues," he added.

Ramli, who reportedly suffered from pancreatic cancer, died on Tuesday evening at the age of 69 after being treated at RSCM for his illness.

The funeral procession for his remains would take place at the Jeruk Purut Cemetery, South Jakarta, on Thursday.

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According to Yosef Sampurna, who represented the late Ramli's family on Wednesday, Rizal's remains would be buried next to that of his wife.

Born on December 10, 1954, he earned his undergraduate degree in engineering physics from the Bandung Institute of Technology in 1973.

During his study at ITB, he was well-known as a student activist who was critical to the Soeharto regime. As a result, he had been jailed as a political prisoner.

Ramli pursued his postgraduate study at Boston University and earned a PhD in Economics degree from the university in 1990. Since then, he was also known as an influential economist in Indonesia.

During President Abdurrahman Wahid's administration, he had headed Bulog and was appointed as the coordinating minister for economy and finance minister.

During his first presidential term, President Joko Widodo had appointed Ramli as coordinating minister for maritime affairs in his cabinet.

Ramli left the ministerial post after being reshuffled and was replaced by Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan on July 27, 2016.

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Translator: MM Al Afghani, Rahmad Nasution
Editor: Yuni Arisandy Sinaga
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