General (Ret.) Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono (born September 9, 1949), is an Indonesian retired military general and the sixth President of Indonesia. Yudhoyono won the presidency in September 2004 in the second round of the Indonesian presidential election, in which he defeated incumbent President Megawati Sukarnoputri. He was sworn into office on October 20 2004, together with Jusuf Kalla as Vice President.
Javanese do not have surnames in the Western sense. The name Yudhoyono was not inherited either from his father or his mother. While Susilo Bambang uses Yudhoyono in naming his children, it is not a descended family surname. In Indonesia, he is referred to in some media as Susilo and is widely known by the initial SBY. Abroad, he is referred to as Yudhoyono, a name that he chose for his military name-tag, while in formal meetings and functions he is addressed as Dr. Yudhoyono. Susilo is apparently derived from Susila in Sanskrit which in means 'well-behaved' or perhaps Sushil, which means 'one with good character'.
When he was in 5th grade, Yudhoyono visited the National Military Academy (AMN) at Magelang. After seeing the soldiers training there and perhaps inspired by his own father's career, Yudhoyono became determined to join ABRI and become a soldier. Yudhoyono had originally wanted to get into the ABRI Academy (Akabri) after graduating from high school in 1968, however, he missed out because he did not register in time.
Yudhoyono then became a lecture at the Sepuluh November Institute of Technology (ITS) before entering the Teachers Education School in Malang, East Java. There, he was able to prepare everything for his next education at Akabri. Yudhoyono officially entered Akabri in 1970 after he passed the test which took place in Bandung, West Java.
Military career Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono
Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono (born September 9, 1949), is an Indonesian retired military general and the sixth President of Indonesia. Yudhoyono won the presidency in September 2004 in the second round of the Indonesian presidential election, in which he defeated incumbent President Megawati Sukarnoputri. He was sworn into office on October 20, 2004, together with Jusuf Kalla as Vice President.
Yudhoyono spent three years at Akabri (Academy of Indonesian Armed Forces) and became the Commander of the Cadet Corps Division there. He graduated from Akabri in 1973, and as the best graduate of the year, received the prestigious Adhi Makayasa Medal from President Suharto.
After graduating, Yudhoyono joined Kostrad and became a platoon Commander in the 330 Airborne Battalion. Aside from leading his troops, Yudhoyono also received the task of giving the Battalion soldiers lessons on general knowledge and English. Yudhoyono's proficiency in English was one of the reasons why he was sent to the United States to undertake the Airborne and Ranger Course at Fort Benning in 1975.
Yudhoyono returned to Indonesia in 1976 where he became a platoon Commander in the 305 Battalion and assigned to East Timor. Yudhoyono had several tours of duty there since and, like many other Indonesian officers involved in the occupation of East Timor, was accused of committing war crimes. However, Yudhoyono has never been charged with any specific act. From East Timor, Yudhoyono became a Mortar platoon commander (1977), an Operations Officer for an Airborne Brigade (1977-1978), and Battalion Commander (1979-1981) at Kostrad. Yudhoyono then spent 1981 and 1982 working at the Army Headquarters.
Whilst working at the Army Headquarters, Yudhoyono was sent to the United States again, this time to participate in the Infantry Officer Advanced Course at Fort Benning and in the On The Job Training with the 82nd Airborne Division. Yudhoyono also spent time at Panama and went through the jungle warfare school. When Yudhoyono returned in 1983, he was made Commander of the Infantry Trainers' School. It was not long before he was abroad again this time to Belgium and West Germany to undertake the Antitank weapons Course. In 1985, Yudhoyono also took a Battalion Commando Course in Malaysia.
From 1986-1988, Yudhoyono served at KODAM IX/Udayana which looked after the security of Bali and the smaller Sunda Islands. Yudhoyono was Battalion Commander from 1986-1988 and was part of the Operational Staff in 1988. In 1989, Yudhoyono became a lecturer at the Army Staff College (Seskoad) and delivered a presentation entitled "ABRI's Professionalism at the Present and in the Future". Together with Agus Wirahadikusumah, Yudhoyono published a book entitled "The Challenges of Development". As a lecturer, Yudhoyono also began to experiment with the concept of democracy.
Whilst at Seskoad, Yudhoyono also took the opportunity to further his own military education. He went to the US Army Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. While at the United States, he also took the opportunity to get an MA in business management from Webster University in 1991.
In 1992, Yudhoyono was transferred to the Army Information Department and worked as a speech writer for General Edi Sudrajat, the Army Chief of Staff. In 1993, when Edi became ABRI Commander, Yudhoyono became the Coordinator Edi's personal staff. Edi did not last long as ABRI Commander and Yudhoyono was then transferred back to Kostrad where he became a Brigade Commander. A year later, Yudhoyono was the Operations Assistant at KODAM Jaya before becoming a Military Resort Commander (KOREM) at KODAM IV/Diponegoro in Central Java.
When Yudhoyono returned to Indonesia, he was made KODAM Jaya Chief of Staff before being appointed as KODAM II/Sriwijaya Commander. In this position, Yudhoyono was responsible for the security of the southern provinces of Sumatra. He served in this position until 1997, when he was appointed Chief of Staff for Social Political Affairs. At the same time, he was also appointed Chairman of the ABRI Faction at the 1998 People's Consultative Assembly (MPR) General Session and participated in Suharto's election to a 7th term as President.
During the days which would lead to Suharto's fall in May, Yudhoyono and pro-reform ABRI officers conducted meetings and discussions with Nurcholish Madjid, a secular pro-reform Muslim leader. From his discussions, Yudhoyono accepted to the fact that Suharto should resign but like the ABRI officers who went to the meeting with him, was reluctant to withdraw their support of Suharto publicly much less ask for Suharto's resignation. Nevertheless the pressure would eventually become too much for Suharto, who resigned on 21 May 1998.
As Indonesia entered the reform period, ABRI's popularity, because of its association with Suharto, was at an all time low. Nevertheless, ABRI undertook reform much like all the other aspects of Indonesian society. To de-emphasize ABRI's political role, Yudhoyono's Chief of Staff for Social Political Affairs was renamed Chief of Staff for Territorial Affairs and in 1999, ABRI would be separated into TNI and the Republic of Indonesia Police (Polri). At this time, Yudhoyono's popularity began to increase as he offered ideas and concepts to reform the military and nation. He did this by combining the strong reformist sentiment of the time with TNI's concern for security and stability. Yudhoyono then became known in the media as "The Thinking General".
Yudhoyono's popularity grew, even as Minister of Mines and Energy. In June 2000, there were talks that Wahid, because of his lack of skill as an administrator was going to appoint a First Minister to look after the day to day running of the Government. Yudhoyono's name appeared as a potential candidate for the position, although this never came true with Wahid appointing Vice President Megawati Sukarnoputri as the day to day administrator.
In August 2000, after a Cabinet reshuffle, Yudhoyono became the Coordinating Minister for Politics and Security. One of his tasks was to get the army out of politics. This is in line with his reformist ideas on the future of Indonesian military, and is a view he has held since his days in an army policy center. He said at that time:
Since 1998, the military has decided to stay out of day-to-day politics. The basic idea of military reform is to go back to the role and function of the military as a defense force and move them away from politics systematically. The trend is moving in such a way that there is no so-called 'dual function' of the military, there is no so-called social political mission in the military.
Another task that Yudhoyono was given was as an intermediary between Wahid and the Suharto family. At the time, Wahid was trying to get Suharto to hand back all the money which he had gotten through corruption when he was the President. Yudhoyono was sent by Wahid to convey this wish and to negotiate with them. However, Yudhoyono was not successful in this venture.
In the beginning of 2001, with political pressure increasing on him, Wahid ordered Yudhoyono to form a Crisis Centre with Yudhoyono as Chairman The purpose of this Crisis Centre was to assist the President in giving policy advice and was headquartered at Yudhoyono's office. It seemed as if because of this appointment, Yudhoyono could be considered one of Wahid's men, however Yudhoyono would break ranks from Wahid in July 2001 when the latter was facing impeachment. In desperation, Wahid issued a decree freezing the People's Representative Council (DPR) and then asked Yudhoyono to declare a state of emergency to further strengthen his position. Yudhoyono refused to accept this, and Wahid dismissed him. This gave him a new reputation for liberalism.
Given Wahid's physical incapacity, Yudhoyono was seen as the dominant figure in the Wahid government.
Yudhoyono was appointed to his old position of Coordinating Minister of Politics and Security in Megawati's new Cabinet. After the October 2002 Bali bombing, he oversaw the hunt for and arrest of those responsible, and gained a reputation both in Indonesia and abroad as one of the few Indonesian politicians serious about the War on Terrorism. His speech during the one year anniversary of the Bali bombing (in which many Australians were killed) was praised by the Australian media and public.
Yudhoyono also dealt with the Free Aceh Movement (GAM), a separatist movement wanting to separate the Province of Aceh from Indonesia. On his advice, Megawati declared martial law in Aceh on 19 May 2003. This martial law was then extended in November 2003.
From 12th-19 August 2001, Rumangkang began holding a series meetings to discuss the formation of the Party while holding consultations with Yudhoyono who was now serving as the Coordinating Minister for Politics and Security. Yudhoyono personally led the meeting on 19 August and on the 20 August 2001, the basic outline of the Partai Demokrat (PD) was finalized.
The organizers behind PD's formation went to extreme lengths to make sure that PD was Yudhoyono's personal political party. The declaration of its formation was 9 September 2001, which was Yudhoyono's birthday and to start off with, the Party had 99 members.
The turning point came on 1st March 2004, when Yudhoyono's secretary, Sudi Silalahi announced to the media that for the last 6 months, Yudhoyono had been excluded from policy decision-making in the field of Politics and Security. On 2 March, Megawati responded that she had never excluded Yudhoyono while her husband, Taufik Kiemas called Yudhoyono childish for complaining to the media instead of the President herself. On 8 March, Yudhoyono sent a letter asking for permission to meet the President about his ministerial authorities. Megawati did not respond when she received the letter, although she invited Yudhoyono along to a Cabinet meeting on 11 March. Yudhoyono did not attend the Cabinet meeting and instead held a press conference at his office and announced his resignation from the position of Coordinating Minister of Politics and Security. Yudhoyono also announced that he is ready to be nominated as President.
Yudhoyono's popularity skyrocketed after his falling out with Megawati as he was seen by the people to be the underdog. However this popularity did not translate to a victory for PD at the 2004 Legislative Elections. There, PD won 7.5% of the votes which was still enough to nominate Yudhoyono as a Presidential candidate. Yudhoyono accepted the nomination and picked Golkar's Jusuf Kalla as his running mate. Aside from PD, their Presidential and Vice Presidential candidacy were also supported by the Crescent Star Party (PBB), Star Reform Party (PBR) and Indonesian Justice and Unity Party (PKPI).
Yudhoyono's manifesto for the future of Indonesia, summarised in a book titled "Vision For Change" written by him and distributed for free during the campaign, was built on four pillars: prosperity, peace, justice and democracy. At the top of his agenda was a plan for increasing economic prosperity, aiming for economic growth of at least 7% and a revival of small and medium-sized enterprises. He also put forward policies to offer better credit lines, to cut red tape, improve labor laws and to root out corruption from the top down. He told an interviewer:
If we are to reduce poverty, create jobs, increase purchasing power and rebuild infrastructure, then we will need new capital. Of course, to be able to invite investment, I have to improve the climate — legal certainties, political stability, law and order, sound tax policies, customs policies, good labor management. I will improve the guarantees to encourage investors to come to Indonesia.
Yudhoyono's perceived reputation for intellectual and communication skills capabilities made him the front-runner throughout the election campaign, according to many opinion polls and the opinions of election commentators, a long way ahead of the other candidates (Megawati, Wiranto, Amien Rais, and Hamzah). On 5 July 2004, Yudhoyono participated in the first round of Presidential Elections coming first with 33% of the votes. However, 50% of votes are required for a new President and Vice President to be elected and this meant Yudhoyono going into a run-off against Megawati.
For the run-off, Yudhoyono faced challenge from Megawati's Indonesian Democratic Party-Struggle (PDI-P), forming a National Coalition with Golkar, PPP, Prosperous Peace Party (PDS) and Indonesian National Party (PNI). Yudhoyono then declared that his coalition, which now received political support from the National Awakening Party (PKB), Prosperous Justice Party (PKS) and the National Mandate Party (PAN), would be the People's Coalition.
In January 2005, Yudhoyono launched the Poor Community Health Insurance (Askeskin). Askeskin is a program directed for poor people which allows them access to healthcare.
Although he had overwhelmingly won the Presidency, Yudhoyono was still weak in the People's Representative Council (DPR). PD combined with all of its coalition partners were still too weak to contend with the Legislative muscles of Golkar and PDI-P who now intended to play the role of opposition.
With a National Congress to be held in December 2004, Yudhoyono and Kalla had originally backed Head of DPR Agung Laksono to become Golkar Chairman. When Agung was perceived to be too weak to run against Akbar, Yudhoyono and Kalla threw their weight behind Surya Paloh. Finally, when Paloh was perceived to be to weak to run against Akbar, Yudhoyono gave the green light for Kalla to run for the Golkar Chairmanship. On 19 December 2004, Kalla was elected as the new Chairman of Golkar.
Kalla's victory posed a dilemma for Yudhoyono. Although it now enabled Yudhoyono to pass legislation, Kalla's new position meant that in one sense, he was now more powerful than Yudhoyono.
The first sign that points to the existence of a rivalry was during the Indian Ocean Tsunami when Kalla, apparently on his own initiative assembled the Ministers and signed a Vice Presidential decree ordering work to begin on rehabilitating Aceh. The legality of his Vice Presidential decree was questioned although Yudhoyono maintained that it was he who gave the orders for Kalla to proceed.
The second sign was in September 2005 when Yudhoyono went to New York to attend the annual United Nations Summit. Although Yudhoyono had left Kalla to take charge of proceedings at Jakarta, he seemed to be bent on maintaining a watch on matters at home. Yudhoyono would hold a video conference from New York to receive reports from Ministers. Critics suggest that this was an expression of distrust by Yudhoyono The suggestion seemed to gain momentum when Kalla only showed up for one video conference and then spent the rest of the time taking care of Golkar matters.
Although things calmed down, especially with Golkar gaining another Cabinet position in the reshuffle, the alleged rivalry resurfaced again in October 2006 when Yudhoyono established the Presidential Work Unit for the Organization of Reform Program (UKP3R). There was accusation that this was an attempt by Yudhoyono to exclude Kalla from Government. Yudhoyono was quick to clarify that in supervising UKP3R, he will be assisted by Kalla.
Responding to some publicly-made requests to Yudhoyono for granting pardon to all Suharto's possible past mistakes in governing the country, the Presidential Spokeperson Andi Malarangeng said, "A visit from an incumbent to a hospitalized former president is something normative. However, this show of humanity and legal step are two different things.
In October 2006, Yudhoyono formed the UKP3R which functioned to implement, supervise, and accelerate the implementation of Government policy. In addition to that, Yudhoyono delegated the task of improving the conditions for business investment, executing Government diplomacy and administration, improving the performance of the State Owned Enterprises, expanding the role of Small and Middle Businesses, and improving law enforcement as a whole. The UKP3R is headed by Marsillam Simanjuntak who served as Attorney General during the Wahid Presidency. In February 2007, Yudhoyono added Welfare to UKP3R's tasks by ordering them to also put focus on the abolition of poverty, the direct cash assistance, public service as well as assisting programs in health and education
On August 17, 2007, Indonesia by initiative of Yudhoyono in Jakarta, proposed that 8 nations, homes of some 80% of the world's tropical rainforests join diplomatic ranks amid rising global warming concerns. Indonesia lead the summit of 8 countries (on September 24 in New York) - Brazil, Cameroon, Congo, Costa Rica, Gabon, Indonesia, Malaysia and Papua New Guinea. On 3-15 December 2007, Indonesia hosted the 13th Conferences of the Parties (COP-13) under United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) on Bali.
In January 2007, Yudhoyono announced plans to disband the Consultative Group on Indonesia (CGI).
Yudhoyono lives both in the Presidential Merdeka Palace in Jakarta and his family residence in Cikeas, Bogor with his wife, Ani Bambang Yudhoyono. First Lady Ani Yudhoyono (pronounced ah-nee bumb-bung, maiden name: Kristiani Herawati) is a holder of political science degree from local Merdeka University, and was the first vice chairman of her husband's political vehicle Democratic Party. She is also the eldest child of General (Ret.) Sarwo Edhie Wibowo, one of Indonesia's high-profile generals.
The family's elder son, Captain (Inf) Agus Harimurti (born 1978), graduated from the reputable Taruna Nusantara High School in 1997 and Indonesian Military Academy in 2000 and is a holder of the Adhi Makayasa Medal like his father. He is currently assigned to an infantry battalion in Bandung, West Java and is married to Annisa Larasati Pohan, a model and also the daughter of an ex-Bank Indonesia vice-president, since July 8th, 2005. In July 2006, Agus was graduated from Institute of Defense and Strategic Studies, Singapore in master degree of Strategic Studies. He is currently posted in Lebanon, being a member of Indonesian contingent for United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon.
The family's younger son, Edhie Baskoro (born 1982), received a degree with double major, Financial Commerce and eCommerce in 2005 from the Curtin University of Technology, in Perth, Western Australia and currently following his brother's footsteps in pursuing his Master Degree in the Institute of Defense and Strategic Studies, Singapore.
Analysis: Indonesian elections so far show former general Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono in lead, followed by Megawati Sukarnoputri [DP]
Jul 06, 2004; RENEE MONTAGNE Morning Edition (NPR) 07-06-2004 Analysis: Indonesian elections so far show former general Susilo Bambang...