Jakarta – Prominent Muhammadiyah figure Abdul Malik Fadjar passed away at 7:00 p.m. on Monday at Mayapada Hospital in Kuningan, South Jakarta. He was 81 years old.
The news of his death was announced by Muhammadiyah Malang University, where Abdul served as the head of the daily advisory board.
President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo also delivered his condolences following the news of Abdul's death. Through his official Instagram account, the President paid tribute to Abdul's remarkable dedication to the nation.
"Innalillahi wa inna ilaihi rajiun [We belong to God and to God we shall return]. We have lost a figure and a teacher of this nation, Prof. Abdul Malik Fadjar who died on Monday," he wrote.
"He was a teacher with persistence and high dedication, working to improve the education for this nation."
Abdul served as religious affairs minister during the presidency of the late Bacharuddin Jusuf Habibie from 1998 until 1999. He was also the education and culture minister during the presidency of Megawati Soekarnoputri from 2001 until 2004.
Education and Culture Minister Nadiem Makarim also paid tribute to the respected figure on Tuesday, saying "Farewell, hero and teacher of our nation."
"He gave us many inspirations and lessons. He taught us about humanistic and democratic approaches, as well as educating us about human rights and freedom in education," Nadiem said on Tuesday as quoted by kompas.com.
Abdul also served as an interim coordinating minister for social welfare, replacing Jusuf Kalla, who ran as a vice-presidential candidate in the 2004 election.
President Jokowi also appointed Abdul as one of nine members of the Presidential Advisory Board (Wantimpres) during his first term in 2015.
Abdul also actively participated in the Association of Indonesian Muslim Intellectuals (ICMI) and helped to build Muhammadiyah schools across the nation. (trn)