During his life Widjajono had climbed more than 40 mountains in Indonesia and abroad. Nina said she fully understood her husband`s hobby and she could not slow his passion for mountain climbing.Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Since he was installed as the deputy minister of energy and mineral resources (ESDM) in October 2011, Widjajono Partowidagdo has stolen the public attention with his "eccentric" appearance including long hair and casual clothing.
Widjajono has also been active in promoting energy savings and the need to reduce fuel subsidies that have burdened the national budget.
And six months after he was appointed deputy minister, the nation was shocked to hear of his sudden death on Mount Tambora, Dompu District, Sumbawa Island, West Nusa Tenggara (NTB), last Saturday (21/4).
Born in Magelang (Central Java) on September 16, 1951, he is survived by his wife, Ninasapti Triaswati, and a 15-year old daughter, Kristal Amalia.
Widjajono died from an apparent heart attack while climbing Mt Tambora. But some sources said that he was exhausted and ran out of oxygen. He and his group were believed to have begun climbing Tambora on April 19.
On Saturday morning there was a report that he was in critical condition while on the mountain. But due to bad weather, the evacuation by a Newmont helicopter was delayed until the afternoon. During the difficult and long evacuation process, he died, according to officials.
His body was removed from checkpoint III on the climbing path of Mt Tambora at a height of 2,500 meters above the sea.
From the helicopter landing strip in Mt Tambora, the body was flown to Denpasar, Bali, and later in the evening to Jakarta by an Air Force Hercules plane.
"We have examined the external parts of the body and found no injuries, and then issued a death certificate," President Director of Sanglah Hospital Dr Wayan Sutarga said, in Denpasar, Sunday.
During his life Widjajono had climbed more than 40 mountains in Indonesia and abroad. Nina said she fully understood her husband`s hobby and she could not slow his passion for mountain climbing.
"In his life he did not have any history of illness, because he had always maintained his health," she added.
Widjajono was known as a low profile government official and very friendly to journalists.
Before becoming the deputy minister, he was a professor in economics and oil/gas field management at the Mining and Oil Technology Faculty of the Bandung Institute of Technology (ITB).
A few days before his death, Widjajono sent an article he wrote, entitled "A Smart Nation that Saves Energy", to Seputar Indonesia (Sindo) daily. In the article he urged the Indonesian people to work seriously to save energy and fuel.
He wrote that the government`s revenue from oil products, worth Rp205 trillion annually, was almost entirely spent for oil subsidies, with only Rp8 trillion remaining.
"He always called on the Indonesian people to save energy. In the past, Indonesia had a lot of oil, but now only a small amount remains. Therefore, he frequently reminded the public not to waste (the fuel)," Nina recalled.
She quoted her husband for having said that now Indonesia is poor and therefore the people must save energy.
For his family, Widjajono was a humble, smiling and friendly figure.
Bandung Institute of Technology (ITB) Rector Akhmaloka said he was shocked to hear of the death of one of the institute`s best professors.
"Widjajono was quiet, although his ideas were extraordinary. He was calm, and what impressed us was that he was very humble," he said.
Widjajono, a mountain climbing enthusiast, was a member of the ITB Nature Lover Student Community (KMPA).
"Not only in the country, he also climbed mountains overseas. Two years ago, Widjajono asked for permission to climb a mountain in South America," he said.
Energy and Mineral Resources Minister Jero Wacik also expressed his sorrow.
"His death is a big loss for the Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry, especially me, because he was my classmate at ITB in 1971," Jero Wacik said when paying his last respects on Saturday evening.
Widjajono graduated as an oil major in the graduate program study and development of ITB in 1975. He later continued his studies at the University of Southern California, the US.
He received his first Msc title in Petroleum Engineering in 1980, his second MSc in Operations Research in 1982, an MA in Economics in 1986, and his PhD in Engineering in 1987.
Jero recalled that his deputy had asked for his permission to climb Tambora and he reminded him not to climb too high due to his age.
He had written a number of books, among others, "Migas dan Energi di Indonesia" (Oil, Gas and Energy in Indonesia), "Permasalahan and Analisis Kebijakan" (Policy Analysis and Issues) in 2009, and "Manajemen dan Ekonomi Minyak dan Gas Bumi" (Oil and Natural Gas Economy and Management) in 2002.
As of 2009, Widjajono was a member of the National Energy Council.
President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono remembers Widjajono as a strong figure who was qualified in his field, making his sudden death a great loss to the nation.
"With deepest condolences, (we) on behalf of the state, government and his colleagues, express our condolences and hope that he will rest in peace. I know him personally, he is a person with a strategic thought and high idealism, particularly about the nation`s energy development," the president said after paying tribute to Widjajono on Sunday.
He said he was an idealistic figure who had a strong commitment to his duties.
"The late Widjajono was very active in assisting my minister in arranging policies and strategies in the energy field," the president said.
From overseas, the Australian Government has offered its condolences to the family of Widjajono.
"He was a dedicated leader and we are saddened by the loss of someone with whom we had cooperated closely. May he rest in peace," the Australian embassy said on its website. (*)
Editor: Heru Purwanto
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