Mochtar Lubis, 1979
7 March 1922|
Padang, West Sumatra, Dutch East Indies
2 July 2004 (aged 82)|
Mochtar Lubis ([moxˈtar luˈbɪs]; 7 March 1922 – 2 July 2004) was an Indonesian Batak journalist and novelist who co-founded Indonesia Raya and monthly literary magazine "Horison". His novel Senja di Jakarta (Twilight in Jakarta in English) was the first Indonesian novel to be translated into English. He was a critic of Sukarno and was imprisoned by him. He has been described as a "renaissance man par excellence."
As a child, he wrote children's stories which were published in Sinar Deli, a Medan-based newspaper. When he was an adolescent, he often trekked into the jungles of Sumatra. He later wrote that two events during this period, seeing a well-built yet abandoned hut and having a close call with a tiger, served partly as his inspiration for Harimau! Harimau! (Tiger!, Tiger!)
After graduating from high school, he worked as a teacher in Nias, North Sumatra. However, after a year he left for Batavia, where he worked at a bank. When World War II broke out and the Japanese occupied Indonesia in 1942, Lubis began working for the Japanese, translating international news for the Japanese army.
After Indonesia declared its independence in 1945, Lubis joined the Indonesian news agency Antara as a reporter. With Antara, he covered the Asian Relations Conference in 1947. During this same period he wrote Jalan Tak Ada Ujung (The Road Has no End) and joined the Indonesian Visual Artists Association.
In 1949, he cofounded Indonesia Raya, later serving as the daily's chief editor. His work there led to him being imprisoned numerous times for his critical writing, including in Madiun, East Java, from 1957 – 1966. In 1955, while he was editor there, he hosted the African American author Richard Wright during his three weeks in Indonesia to attend the Bandung Conference. Indonesia Raya published several articles related to Wright during April and May 1955.
On 4 February 1975, he was arrested in relation to the 1974 riots during the visit of Japanese Prime Minister Kakuei Tanaka; Indonesia Raya was also shut down not long after the riots due to their reporting of the Pertamina corruption scandal. He spent over two months in Nirbaya prison without trial and was released on 14 April 1975. He noted that other prisoners, such as former Indonesian Air Force chief Omar Dani, had been imprisoned without trial for years. During his time there, he became an avid practitioner of yoga.
He founded and co-founded numerous magazines and foundations, including the Obor Indonesia Foundation in 1970, Horison magazine, and the Indonesian Green Foundation. He was also outspoken about the need for freedom of the press in Indonesia and gained a reputation as an honest, no-nonsense reporter. In 2000, he was named as one of the International Press Institute's 50 World Press Freedom Heroes of the past 50 years.
After a long struggle against Alzheimer's disease he died in Medistra Hospital on 2 July 2004 at age 82. He was buried next to his wife in Jeruk Purut Cemetery. His funeral was attended by hundreds, including journalists and writers Rosihan Anwar and Ramadhan K.H..
He was married to Siti Halimah, who died in 2001. Together they had three children, who produced eight grandchildren.
Lubis's novel Harimau! Harimau! was named Best Book by Yayasan Buku Utama, a part of the Indonesian Ministry of Education and Culture, in 1975, and received an award from Yayasan Jaya Raya (parent organization of the publisher Pustaka Jaya) in 1979.
|Year||Title||Title in English||Notes|
|1950||Tidak Ada Esok||There is No Tomorrow|
|1952||Jalan Tak Ada Ujung||The Never-ending Road||Received an award from the Badan Musyawarah Kebudayaan Nasional|
|1963||Senja di Jakarta||Twilight in Jakarta||Originally published in English; published in Malay in 1964.|
|1966||Tanah Gersang||Barren Land|
|1975||Harimau! Harimau!||Tiger! Tiger!||Nominated best book of the year by Yayasan Buku Utama.|
|1977||Maut dan Cinta||Death and Love||Received an award from Yayasan Jaya Raya.|
Short story collections
|Year||Title||Title in English|
|1950||Si Jamal||The Beauty|
- Hill, David (1 July 2005). "Mochtar Lubis". Inside Indonesia. Archived from the original on 23 November 2008. Retrieved 10 July 2008.
- Her Suheryanto (4 April 2010). "A Fresh look at the legacy of Mochtar Lubis". The Jakarta Post. Retrieved 9 July 2011.
- A. Junaidi (16 August 2004). "Loyal, outspoken, loved: Mochtar's friends remember". The Jakarta Post. Retrieved 9 July 2011.
- Lubis & Lamoureux 1991, p. vii
- A. Junaidi (3 July 2004). "Press freedom fighter, writer Mochtar Lubis passes away". The Jakarta Post. Retrieved 9 July 2011.
- Roberts and Foulcher (2016). Indonesian Notebook: A Sourcebook on Richard Wright and the Bandung Conference. Duke University Press. pp. 67–88.
- Warief Djajanto Basorie (9 September 2008). "The irrepressible and intimate Mochtar Lubis". The Jakarta Post. Retrieved 9 July 2011.
- "Press freedom champion Mochtar 'only feared for his Juliet'". The Jakarta Post. 4 July 2004. Retrieved 9 July 2011.
- "World Press Freedom Heroes: Symbols of courage in global journalism". International Press Institute. 2012. Retrieved 26 January 2012.
- "The Ramon Magsaysay Awardees by Category – Journalism, Literature, and the Creative Communication Arts". Ramon Magsaysay Award. Retrieved 10 July 2008.
- Mahayana, Sofyan & Dian 2007, p. 243
- Eneste 2001, p. 61
- Lubis, Mochtar. Harimau! Harimau! Eighth printing. 2008. Yayasan Obor Indonesia: Jakarta. Pp. 213–214. ISBN 978-979-461-109-8.(Taken from the "About the Author" section) (In Indonesian)
- Eneste, Pamusuk (2001). Bibliografi Sastra Indonesia [Bibliography of Indonesian Literature] (in Indonesian). Magelang, Indonesia: Yayasan Indonesiatera. ISBN 979-9375-17-7.
- Lubis, Mochtar; Lamoureux, Florence (1991). Tiger!. Singapore: Select Books. ISBN 981-00-2265-4.
- Mahayana, Maman S.; Sofyan, Oyon; Dian, Achmad (2007). Ringkasan dan ulasan novel Indonesia modern [Summaries and Commentary on Modern Indonesian Novels] (in Indonesian). Grasindo.