Marchio Irfan Gorbiano, Jakarta – Prominent New Order finance minister and member of the so-called "Berkeley Mafia" JB Sumarlin passed away at the age of 87 in Jakarta on Thursday.
Finance Ministry acting spokesman Nufransa Wira Sakti confirmed the news.
"The Finance Ministry has lost our role model who played an important role in improving Indonesia's economic situation nearing the end of the 1980s," Nufransa said as quoted by tempo.com.
Finance Minister Sri Mulyani also expressed her deep condolences upon hearing the news.
"He used to be my lecturer when I studied at the University of Indonesia. He was a very committed teacher," Sri said. "We learned a lot through his past decisions, such as when Indonesia suffered from rising oil prices during the Iran-Iraq War."
Sumarlin was laid in repose at Siloam Semanggi Funeral Home on Thursday evening and will be buried at San Diego Hills Cemetery on Feb. 10.
Former president Soeharto appointed Sumarlin to head the Finance Ministry from 1988 to 1993. He rose to prominence after issuing his famous Gebrakan Sumarlin (Sumarlin Breakthrough), a deregulation policy package in the monetary, financial, and banking fields in 1988.
Sumarlin and fellow senior economists of the time such as Widjojo Nitisastro, Emil Salim and Ali Wardhana were dubbed the "Berkeley Mafia" as a result of their United-States educations.
Thanks to Sumarlin's reforms, Indonesia's economy managed to grow by 5.7 percent in 1988, surpassing the original target of 5 percent. (dpk)