Condolence News: Ir. Sarwono Kusumaatmadja

27 May 2023

Mr. Sarwono Kusumaatmadja passed away peacefully in Penang, Malaysia, on 26 May 2023 at 5.12 pm local time. He leaves behind four children and five grandchildren.

Mr. Sarwono Kusumaatmadja was born on 24 July 1943. He studied Civil Engineering at the Bandung Institute of Technology and graduated in 1974.

During the New Order era, he served as Minister of State for Administrative Reform in the V Development Cabinet (1988–1993) and subsequently as Minister of Environment in the VI Development Cabinet (1993–1998). During the Reformation period, he was trusted by President Abdurrahman Wachid to serve as Minister of Marine Exploration (hereinafter referred to as Minister of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries) for the 1999-2001 period, and then as a member of Regional Representative Council (DPD) from DKI Jakarta in 2004. From 2015 until Pak Sarwono left us all, he served as Senior Advisor to the Minister of Environment and Forestry.

Apart from all these public positions, Pak Sarwono’s work spread across  several civil society organizations engaged on environmental issues, education, as well as microeconomics and cooperatives. At CRU, Pak SK – as we call him – is the chairman of the Institutional Independence Committee (KKL) who patiently and dedicatedly contributes his thoughts, experiences, and networks in the process of initiating an independent institution for handling land and natural wealth conflicts.

He is a visionary who is not grandiose in his plans.

“Make something precious out of everything possible,”

It’s a quote from his wise words that always rings true. We often come to him for advice on various matters, including the political scene which is often related to conflicts over land and natural resources. For us, Pak SK is a well of knowledge that never ran dry.

He was a discussion partner with a sophisticated sense of humor – especially from his observations of the problematic sides of the bureaucracy, which he portrayed with irony and humor. In his daily life, Pak SK always exemplifies humility, simplicity, and dedication.

Pak SK, thank you for all your knowledge, experience, lessons about humanity, and your humor. We will surely miss him. Farewell.