Taufiq Kiemas, who is also a senior politician of the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDIP) died in the hospital at around 7 p.m local time or 6.05 p.m Western Indonesia Time, after being treated for four days.
He has been treated at the hospital for fatigue after attending a state function in the commemoration of the birth of the country`s state ideology Pancasila in Ende, East Nusa Tenggara, on June 1.
His body was flown from Singapore on Sunday morning and was buried at Kalibata Heroes Cemetery in a funeral service with full military honors. At Halim Perdanakusuma airport, East Jakarta, the body of the MPR speaker arrived at 9.15 a.m and was welcomed by President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono.
The President led the handing over ceremony of the MPR Speaker`s mortal remains from the family to the government. He was laid in state at the airport`s Navy airbase for a moment before Vice President Boediono officially saw off the coffin which was draped with the Red-and-White flag, while President Yudhoyono had previously left the airport for the Kalibata Heroes Cemetery to act as the inspector of the funeral service.
The funeral service was directly led by President Yudhoyono. "On behalf of the state and nation, I am hereby presenting to the Motherland the soul and services of the late Taufiq Kiemas," the President said.
The funeral service was attended by state officers, retired state officials, politicians, national figures and thousands of other mourners. A state ceremony was also held as a form of appreciation of the state to the services and dedication of Taufiq Kiemas during his life.
The President mentioned that the late Taufiq Kiemas was a true statesman and nationalist and a best politician who was consistent in fighting for democracy.
"The late Taufiq Kiemas has contributed a lot of services to the state and nation," he said.
The President has earlier said that Taufiq Kiemas was a true statesman who had contributed his ideas to the advancement of the nation.
"The Late Taufiq Kiemas is a real statesman who continues to think for the advancement of the nation based on the state ideology Pancasila (five principles), the 1945 Constitutions, the Unitary State of Indonesia (NKRI) and the Bhineka Tunggal Ika (unity in diversity)," President Yudhoyono said.
The president said that to respect the services of Taufiq, who is the husband of Indonesia`s former president Megawati Soekarnoputri, the people were requested to raise the flag at half-mast for two days.
"Let us pray for the late Taufiq so that God Almighty would double His reward for his deeds, service and dedication to the nation," he said.
As a statesman who had contributed a lot to the nation, his service would always be remembered by the people.
According to Ysril Ihza Mahendra who is a former Justice minister and a former minister/state secretary, Taufiq Kiemas is a national figure who positioned himself as a brother with his kindness and hospitality.
"The demise of Pak (Mr) Taufiq is a lost for me and for many people," Yusril said. He conveyed his deepest condolences to Taufiq`s family and relatives on his death.
"He is really a kind person with warm personality. He has helped me a lot," he said.
That`s why, when he heard that Taufiq died at a hospital in Singapore on Saturday evening, Yusril said he was saddened and felt a great lost. "Now, my best brother who is very kind of us has gone forever leaving us millions of memories," Yusril said.
According to former National Defense Forces commander retired Gen. Endriartono Sutarto, Taufiq Kiemas is a statesman who persistently fought for arising the country`s collective awareness on the importance of nationhood.
"He has provided extraordinary contributions to the nation by raising people`s awareness of the state ideology Pancasila (five principle) and the 1945 Constitution and their values," Endriartono said.
"Pak Taufiq Kiemas is a senior politician with a long track-record. In his later life, he turned into a true statesman," he said.
Endriartono, who is Indonesian Defense Forces (TNI) commander during the era of former president Megawati Soekarnoputra and President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, said Taufiq Kiemas was a brilliant politician.
"He practiced mature politics which need to be followed," he said.
Therefore, Taufiq Kiemas is seen as a statesman who set a good example for politicians and other people.
Secretary General of the ruling Democratic Party (PD) Edhie Baskoro Yudhoyono, popularly called Ibas, said Taufiq Kiemas had set a good example for the political life in the country.
"We are deeply saddened with the demise of Pak Taufiq Kiemas. We lost a national figure who has unifying spirit. He set a good example for the country`s political life," Ibas said.
He appreciated Taufiq Kiemas`s efforts and the MPR ranks and files in reinforcing the nation`s unity through the development of four nationhood pillars.
"His efforts to reinforce the nation`s unity and integrity through the four pillar program and introduced it through the MPR -- namely the Pancasila, the 1945 Constitution, the Bhinneka Tunggal Ika and the Unitary State of the Republic of Indonesia-- reflect his love to the nation," Ibas said.
Ibas hoped that the bereft family would be given strength. "We hope that Pak Taufiq would rest in peace and the bereft family would be given strength," said Ibas.
In the meantime, political communications expert Ari Junaedi of the University of Indonesia said Taufiq Kiemas was a champion of political communications.
"Through his political communications, Taufiq Kiemas is able to develop the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDIP) into a pluralist and nationalist party which is able to produce young cadres," Ari Junaedi said.
He said the success of Taufiq in political education was reflected in producing PDIP cadres which had political capability.
"Most of the young cadres produced by PDIP come from the young generation circle such as Joko Widodo, Ganjar Pranowo and Rieke Diah Pitaloka. He realizes the importance of producing young cadres," said Ari.
He said that Taufiq`s political style also transformed the PDIP into a dynamic party which was not merely an opposition but also a party which often visited and had cordial meetings with the elite of other political parties.
As the speaker of the MPR, Taufiq has the commitment to realizing the four pillars of the nation, namely the Pancasila, the 1945 Constitution, the Bhinneka Tunggal Ika and the Unitary State of the Republic of Indonesia (NKRI).
Ari said that after Taufiq`s demise, the four pillars would surely awaken the people`s awareness of the importance of unity because threat of national disintegration still existed.(*)