PROGRES.ID – Retired General Prabowo Subianto Djojohadikusumo, born on October 17th, 1951, is the third child and first son of Soemitro Djojohadikusumo, an expert in economics and member of the Indonesian Socialist Party who had just finished serving as Minister of Industry in the Natsir Cabinet in April 1952. His mother, Dora Marie Sigar, was a Protestant Christian woman of Minahasa descent from the Maengkom family in Langowan, North Sulawesi.
Prabowo is a highly intelligent general who not only mastered the military world but also understands politics, economics, and social movements. After retiring from the military, he built businesses and political parties. He married Siti Hediati Hariyadi, the daughter of President Soeharto, and they have a son named Ragowo Didiet Hediprasetyo.
Prabowo moved frequently as a child due to his parents’ work assignments overseas, attending school in Hong Kong, Malaysia, Switzerland, and the American School in England. At age 16, he returned to Indonesia and became involved in his parents’ social networks, helping to rebuild the Indonesian Socialist Party and founding the country’s first non-governmental organization, the Lembaga Pembangunan.
In 1970, Prabowo enrolled at the National Military Academy (AMN) in Magelang, Central Java, despite already being accepted into the University of Colorado and George Washington University in the United States. He graduated from AMN in 1974 and joined the Army’s Special Forces Command (Kopassus) two years later, eventually becoming its commander from 1996 to 1998. He later served as the commander of the Army’s Strategic Reserve Command (Kostrad) in 1998 but was soon moved to the Commander of Staff and Command School of the Indonesian Armed Forces (ABRI).
After retiring from the military, Prabowo left Indonesia and lived in Jordan and Germany, where he pursued business with his brother, Hasyim. He returned to Indonesia in 2004 and attempted to run for president but was unsuccessful. He later served as the Chairman of the Indonesian Farmers’ Association (HKTI) and ran as vice president in Megawati’s presidential campaign in 2009 but was unsuccessful again.
In the 2014 presidential election, Prabowo ran as the candidate of the Gerindra party and was widely seen as the main challenger to Joko Widodo. The election was highly contested, with allegations of voter fraud and irregularities, but ultimately Jokowi won by a significant margin.
Prabowo challenged the result in court but his case was dismissed. Despite this, he remained active in politics and continued to build his party’s support base. In the 2019 presidential election, Prabowo ran against Jokowi again but lost by an even larger margin.
Despite his electoral losses, Prabowo remains a prominent figure in Indonesian politics and is widely respected for his military career and leadership abilities. He has been involved in a number of business ventures and is considered one of the wealthiest individuals in Indonesia.
In recent years, Prabowo has taken on a new role as the Minister of Defense in Jokowi’s government. His appointment to this position was somewhat surprising given his history as a political opponent of Jokowi, but he has been praised for his performance in the role and for his efforts to modernize the Indonesian military.
Overall, Prabowo Subianto is a complex figure with a long and storied career in both the military and politics. Despite his controversial past, he is widely respected for his leadership abilities and his dedication to serving the Indonesian people.