APSN Banner

Former president's Son Ilham Habibie enters 2024 West Java election with Nasdem endorsement

Jakarta Globe - June 7, 2024

Juan Ardya Guardiola, Jakarta – Ilham Akbar Habibie, the eldest son of Indonesia's third president B.J. Habibie, has decided to enter the 2024 West Java Regional Election with the endorsement of the National Democrat (Nasdem) Party.

Ilham Habibie explained his reasons for entering the political arena after a long career as an engineer. He admitted that just a month ago, he hadn't considered joining the Nasdem Party, but he was encouraged to follow in his father's footsteps.

"I was discussing with a relative, and he asked why I didn't try to become a governor. At that time, I said I wasn't a politician, but it seems that there's a need for a new figure," Ilham Habibie told reporters at the Nasdem Party Headquarters in Central Jakarta on Thursday.

Ilham admitted that this was the beginning of the idea to venture into politics and initiate discussions with various parties. He used the term "test the water" to describe his approach.

As his idea evolved, within three weeks, he saw an opportunity to participate in the 2024 Regional Elections through the Nasdem Party. Ilham felt he shared a vision with media mogul Surya Paloh, the chairman of Nasdem.

"So when discussions began in Nasdem, there was a quick commitment and compatibility in terms of thinking and other aspects," added Ilham.

His reason for choosing West Java Province for the upcoming Regional Elections is because West Java is considered the vanguard of Indonesia. He aims to advance industries in the West Java region to contribute to Indonesia's Golden Age Vision by 2045.

"If we want to achieve Indonesia's Golden Age, the economy must grow by at least 6, 7, or ideally 8 percent. This can only be achieved if we can advance and strengthen our industries because industry is paramount," Ilham said.

Ilham has received a letter of recommendation from the Nasdem Party directly from Surya Paloh. However, his position and running mate in the West Java Regional Election are still unknown at this time.

"We have full confidence that Ilham's abilities, capacity, and professionalism are sufficient to lead West Java. Hopefully, this initial step and struggle will be followed by results that will uplift us all," said Surya Paloh.

Ilham studied Aeronautical Engineering at the Technical University of Munich, earning both his Bachelor's and Master's degrees. Later, he obtained his Doctorate from the same university with top honors.

After graduation, he joined Boeing. He also worked as the Director of Marketing at the state-owned aviation company Dirgantara Indonesia.

Currently, he chairs the Expert Council of the Association of Muslim Scholars of Indonesia (ICMI) and serves as Chairman of the Board of Trustees at The Habibie Center, an organization founded by B.J. Habibie and his family.

Source: https://jakartaglobe.id/news/former-presidents-son-ilham-habibie-enters-2024-west-java-election-with-nasdem-endorsemen