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IL News 001/2022

Jakarta, January 28, 2022 – The Executive Director of Leimena Institute, Matius Ho, became one of the speakers in Salemba Discussion Forum 69 tittled “Reflecting on Johannes Leimena’s Leadership and Being Indonesian”, on December 11, 2021. Salemba Discussion Forum is a discussion forum regularly held every month by the Alumni Association of The University of Indonesia (ILUNI UI).

At the event, Matius Ho brought up the leadership character of the national hero commonly called Om Jo. Refering to the testimony of dr. JE Siregar, the founder of Universitas Kristen Maranatha and a friend of Dr. Johannes Leimena for more than 40 years, he said that Johannes Leimena is the real human being.

It means that Johannes Leimena is a human who can maintain his identity and integrity in every situation and condition, either as a citizen or a government official, or when he experiences severe mental pressures, for example during the Japanese collonialization or suffering from disease.

Left-Right: Adam Malik, Johannes Leimena, and President Sukarno. (

Johannes Leimena was crowned the title of national hero during the reign of President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono in 2010. Om Jo is an Ambonese and Christian doctor who has earned great trust from the first president of Indonesia, Ir. Soekarno, with a total of 18-time positions as a minister for 20 years, and 8 of which are minister of health. Dr. Johannes Leimena had also been trusted as an official of president for 7 times in 1961-1965.

Dr. Johannes Leimena not only created a massive impact on the people of Indonesia. He was also known as a person who shows an exemplary relationship with his juniors and subordinates. Apart from being friendly, Om Jo was always willing to help and protect others.

“His ideas of ‘responsible citizenship’ or ‘dual-citizenship’ have influenced the perspective and socio-political participation of Christians in Indonesia,” said Matius Ho.

The concept of “dual citizenship” from Johannes Leimena means that Christians have double responsibilities, as citizens of the Kingdom of God, as mentioned in the Bible, and as Indonesian citizens. They are also given responsibilities by God according to their identity as Indonesians.

Meanwhile, a member of House of Representative from the Democratic Party as well as the daughter of Dr. Johannes Leimena, Melani Leimena Suharli, denoted that her father had faced the long process of struggle well since he was young until the end of his life.

“The motivation as a warrior who cares about the condition of the nation lets my father, Johannes Leimena, become strong and always friendly in dealing with life’s problems,” Melani said.

Melani added that her father has always been her role model that we should live the life seriously and properly with a friendly attitude even though we are fraught with many problems.

Various testimonies on the leadership legacy of Johannes Leimena were also conveyed by other speakers at the virtual event, some of which are those from Dr. Agustin Teras Narang, SH (former governor Central Kalimantan and now as a member of Regional Representative Council of Central Kalimantan) and Jerry Sumampouw (Coordinator of the Indonesian Voters Committee). The fundamental message underlining the speaker’s presentation that day was that diverse beliefs should strengthen, not divide. (Yan/Chr/IL)