In Memory of Former Indonesian First Lady Ani Yudhoyono



Laila Afifa

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  • TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - The battle of Ani Yudhoyono, 66, with the blood cancer has finally ended today. The news on the passing of the wife of sixth Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono was announced by SBY’s relative Hatta Rajasa.

    "Innalillahi wainailaihi rajiun. Ani Yudhoyono has passed away at 11:50 Singapore time," Hatta told journalists on Saturday, June 1.

    Ani Yudhoyono or Kristiani Herawati who was born on July 6, 1952, was the third daughter of RPKAD (Special Forces Command at Indonesian Army) commander Sarwo Edhi Wibowo.

    She was once studied at medical school of the Christian University of Indonesia in Jakarta but she had to quit her study to accompany his father serving as Indonesian Ambassador in South Korea in 1974.

    At that time, her father asked Ani to engage with a graduate of Indonesian National Armed Forces Academy System or Akabri named Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono (SBY). SBY had previously asked Sarwo Edhie, who served as Akabri Governor, to propose Ani.

    Sarwo Edhie accepted the proposal from Akabri’s best graduate in 1973. Ani then approved her father’s advice to engage with SBY. Kristiani Herawati and Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono got married on July 30, 1976.

    Two years after their marriage, their first son, Agus Harimurti Yudhoyono was born on August 10, 1978, in Bandung. Two years later on November 24, 1980, Agus’ brother, Edhie Baskoro Yudhoyono was born.

    Ani continues to accompany her husband in serving his career at the Indonesian Armed Forces TNI until SBY entered Indonesia’s post-New Order political era. SBY served as Mineral and Energy Minister in the cabinet of President Abdurrahman Wahid.

    SBY’s career continued until the era of President Megawati Soekarnoputri. He served as Coordinating Minister for Politics, Social, and Security Affairs. During that period, Ani also actively enrolled in various activities as the wife of a state man.

    In 2004, through Democrat Party, that had just been officiated on August 27, 2003, SBY was elected as the President of Indonesia and Ani accompanied him as the First Lady.

    "Never have I ever thought in my life that I’d become a First Lady accompanying my husband who becomes the sixth Indonesian President. It all happens naturally, following my footsteps while accompanying my husband’s career," Ani said as quoted from her biography entitled, Kepak Sayap Putri Prajurit.

    In the book, Ani said that as the wife of a soldier she had experienced an extraordinary journey. "[I’ve been] going through experiences that strengthen me. Undergo steps by steps that led SBY moving forward in his career," she wrote.

    Ani Yudhoyono has now left us. It is planned that she will be brought to Cikeas and buried in Kalibata Heroes Cemetery on Sunday, June 2, 2019.

    Juli Hantoro