Ganug Nugroho Adi, Surakarta, Central Java – President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo and his family gathered on Thursday to pay their final respects to Jokowi's late mother, Sujiatmi Notomiharjo, who was laid to rest at Mundu cemetery in Gondangrejo subdistrict, Karanganyar, Central Java.
The burial took place at 1:18 p.m., after the President held a funeral prayer in Surakarta, his hometown and the city where his mother had lived.
Sujiatmi, who passed away on Wednesday at the age of 77 after a four year battle with throat cancer, was buried next to her husband, Widjiatno Notomiharjo.
As the funeral took place amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the family had arranged it to comply with physical distancing measures.
They allowed only 500 people to attend the funeral, consisting of state officials, relatives and public figures. Chairs for the attendees were placed 1 meter apart.
A number of prominent figures, including East Java Governor Khofifah Indar Parawansa, People's Consultative Assembly (MPR) speaker Bambang Soesatyo and Regional Representative Council (DPD) speaker La Nyalla Mattalitti attended the funeral
Indonesian Military personnel, National Police personnel, journalists and members of Presidential Security Detail (Paspampres) were also present.
The attendees were required to undergo health screenings, including temperature checks, and were sprayed with disinfectant before entering the cemetery. They were also given masks to be worn at the burial ground.
During the funeral, Jokowi was accompanied by his eldest son Gibran Rakabuming Raka. The First Family left the cemetery at 1:50 p.m. without giving an official statement.
The President is scheduled to participate in a video-conference summit with G20 leaders on Thursday evening from Bogor Presidential Palace, West Java.
Central Java Governor Ganjar Pranowo said Jokowi's family members had asked people and neighbors to pray for Sujiatmi from afar to avoid mass gatherings during the pandemic.
The public appears to have followed the order as no public gatherings were seen at the burial ground or at the family's home. "The President's family would be glad if the public could pray for his mother from home," Ganjar said.
Coordinating Political, Legal and Security Affairs Minister Mahfud MD also said that Jokowi had asked him and other Cabinet ministers not to attend the funeral and to instead focus on their duties in Jakarta. Therefore, he and fellow ministers decided to perform a ghaib (prayer for the deceased from afar).
"Once I heard the news [of Sujiatimi's passing], I initially wanted to borrow planes from the Air Force so ministers could visit him in Surakarta," Mahfud said, "However, the President later said that we didn't have to come there, and he asked us to pray for his mother from our homes." (glh)