September RSS Feed. Brilliant in and mathematics from childhood, Habibie received his postsecondary education at the Bandung Institute of Technology in Bandung, Indonesia, and furthered his studies at the Institute of Technology of North Rhine—Westphalia in,. After graduating in , he remained in West Germany as an aeronautics researcher and production supervisor. Suharto assured him that he could do whatever was needed to accomplish that goal. Initially assigned to the state oil company, Pertamina, Habibie became a government adviser and chief of a new aerospace company in
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Brilliant in science and mathematics from childhood, Habibie received his postsecondary education at the Bandung Institute of Technology in Bandung , Indonesia, and furthered his studies at the Institute of Technology of North Rhine—Westphalia in Aachen , West Germany. After graduating in , he remained in West Germany as an aeronautics researcher and production supervisor.
Suharto assured him that he could do whatever was needed to accomplish that goal. Initially assigned to the state oil company, Pertamina, Habibie became a government adviser and chief of a new aerospace company in Two years later he became research minister and head of the Agency for Technology Evaluation and Application. In these roles he oversaw a number of ventures involving the production and transportation of heavy machinery, steel, electronics and telecommunications equipment, and arms and ammunition.
Habibie believed his enterprises ultimately would spawn high-tech ventures in the private sector and allow the country to climb the technology ladder. In he unveiled the first Indonesian-developed plane, which he helped design, and in the following year he launched a plan to refurbish more than three dozen vessels bought from the former East German navy at his initiative. The Finance Ministry balked at the cost of the latter endeavour, while the armed forces thought that its turf had been violated.
By the late s Habibie was viewed as one of several possible successors to the aging Suharto. In March Suharto appointed Habibie to the vice presidency, and two months later, in the wake of large-scale violence in Jakarta , Suharto announced his resignation. He also granted amnesty to more than political prisoners. In Habibie announced that East Timor , a former Portuguese colony that had been invaded by Indonesia in , could choose between special autonomy and independence; the territory chose independence.
Indonesia held free general elections the first since in June, as promised. Later that year Habibie ran for president, but he withdrew his candidacy shortly before the October election, which was won by Abdurrahman Wahid.
After Wahid took office, Habibie essentially stepped out of politics, although in he established the Habibie Center, a political research institute.
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Subscribe today. Learn More in these related Britannica articles:. In , his successor, B. Habibie , ordered a referendum on independence in East Timor. After nearly 80 percent voted in favour of independence, paramilitaries—aided in some cases by Indonesian soldiers and police—burned and looted major towns and villages and forced tens of thousands of refugees to flee to Australia….
Indonesia: Economic crisis, public unrest, and the fall of Suharto. Bacharuddin Jusuf Habibie was sworn in as the new president. Habibie inherited a country whose political and economic currents had grown considerably stronger—but ever more turbulent—under some three decades of the New Order.
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