Suharto Era Health Minister Dies in Jakarta
A former health minister who served under former President Suharto passed away on Tuesday night in Jakarta, according to local media reports.
Soewardjono Soerjaningrat, known for initiating the country’s family program, will be buried at Kalibata Heroes Cemetery in the capital on Wednesday, Antara state news agency reported.
“His remains will be taken to his house in Villa Cinere Mas [in South Jakarta],” Tubagus Rachmat Sentika, an expert staff member at the Coordinating Ministry for People’s Welfare, said in a statement sent to Antara.
Tubagus said Soewardjono died at Puri Cinere Hospital in Depok at 7 p.m. on Tuesday. Antara did not report on a cause of death.
Soewardjono worked as a health minister for two periods between 1978 to 1988. He was reportedly well trusted by Suharto, who extended his term after his first term expired.
In addition to his work on the family planning program to curb population growth, Soewardjono was the first person to ask Suharto to put a health warning on cigarette boxes. Suharto refused the idea, saying he did not want to threaten the livelihood of thousands of tobacco farmers.