Siti Hartinah

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R. Ay. Hj.
Siti Hartinah
Suharto and Ibu Tien.jpg
Tien with Suharto, 1990s Official Presidential Portrait
2nd First Lady of Indonesia
In office
March 12, 1967 – April 28, 1996
Preceded by Fatmawati
Succeeded by Siti Hardiyanti Rukmana (acting)
Hasri Ainun Habibie
Personal details
Born August 23, 1923
Jaten village, Surakarta, Central Java
Died April 28, 1996(1996-04-28) (aged 72)
Jakarta,  Indonesia
Spouse(s) Suharto
Children Siti Hardiyanti Hastuti[1]
Sigit Harjojudanto
Bambang Trihatmodjo
Siti Hediyati Hariyadi
Hutomo Mandala Putra
Siti Hutami Endang Adiningsih

Raden Ayu Siti Hartinah (August 23, 1923 – April 28, 1996) was the wife of the second Indonesian president, Suharto. She is usually known as Ibu Tien to Indonesians, but is also known as Siti Hartinah Soeharto (the difference in spelling is due to Dutch Colonial era spelling).

Madame Suharto was also widely acknowledged to be a close confidant and political advisor to Suharto.[2]

Life and marriage[edit]

Siti Hartinah was distantly related to the Mangkunegaran Royal household.[3] Some commentators state that her honorific title of Raden Ayu was reserved only for faithful commoner courtiers or servants (abdi dalem) of the Mangkunegaran court.

She was married to Suharto on the December 26, 1947 in Surakarta in a traditional Javanese ceremony. The Javanese custom was for the bride's family to pay the bulk of the wedding costs. Suharto apparently drove there in a battered De Soto sedan. Suharto stated that the marriage was initially not one of romantic love, but they did eventually grow to love each other devotedly, a type of marriage that was very common for many Javanese of that era.[3] Three days after their marriage, Siti Hartinah was taken by Suharto to live in his Yogyakarta house at Jalan Merbabu 2.[3]

Her marriage to Suharto was initiated by Suharto's foster mother at the time, Ibu (Mrs) Prawirowiharjo, who sought an audience with her mother. Ibu Prawirowiharjo cultivated a close relationship with her mother, a family in Suharto's own words as "well regarded and respected in the city of Solo"[4]

Siti Hartinah became to be known in Indonesia as "Madame Tien". Many Javanese saw her as one of the major causes of Suharto's own power. Ong Hok Ham, a prominent Indonesian social historian, said in an interview “When Suharto rose to power, people believed that the wife had the wahyu, the flaming womb, and whoever united with her would get the wahyu. After her death, people began to sense the wahyu was gone.”[5]

Siti Hartinah is interred beside her husband in the Astana Giribangun Suharto mausoleum complex, in Karananyar Regency, Central Java.[2]


Siti Hartinah and Bernhard of Lippe-Biesterfeld in 1971

Suharto and Siti Hartinah had six children, Siti Hardiyanti Rukmana (Tutut), Sigit Harjojudanto (Sigit), Bambang Trihatmodjo (Bambang), Siti Hediati (Titiek), Hutomo Mandala Putra (Tommy) and Siti Hutami Endang Adiningsih (Mamiek), and 11 grandchildren and several great-grandchildren.


  1. ^ Berger, Marilyn (January 28, 2008). "Suharto Dies at 86; Indonesian Dictator Brought Order and Bloodshed". New York Times. Retrieved January 30, 2008. 
  2. ^ a b Budiardjo, Carmel (April 29, 1996)"Archived copy". Archived from the original on March 2, 2008. Retrieved January 30, 2008.  .
  3. ^ a b c Elson, 23
  4. ^ Elson, 22
  5. ^ Suharmoko, Aditya (March 28, 2008) RI economy may face inflation peril: UN survey. The Jakarta Post


  • Suharto: A Political Biography. Robert Edward Elson. Cambridge University Press, 2001. ISBN 0-521-77326-1
  • Siti Hartinah Soeharto : First Lady of Indonesia. Abdul Gafur. PT. Citra Lamtoro Gung Persada, 1992. ISBN unknown
  • Who's Who in Indonesia. Mahiddin Mahmud. Gunung Agung, 1990. ISBN unknown

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
First Lady of Indonesia
12 Maret 1967-28 April 1996
Succeeded by
Abolished as Suharto as widow and title next held by Hasri Ainun