Sjafruddin Prawiranegara

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Syafruddin Prawiranegara
Sjafruddin Prawiranegara.jpg
Head of Republic of Indonesia Emergency Government
In office
19 December 1948 – 13 July 1949
Preceded bySukarno
Succeeded bySukarno
5th Republic of Indonesia Minister of Finance
In office
2 October 1946 – 26 June 1947
Preceded bySurachman Tjokroadisurjo
Succeeded byAlexander Andries Maramis
4th Republic of Indonesia Minister of Trade
In office
6 September 1950 – 27 April 1951
Preceded byLukman Hakim
Succeeded byJusuf Wibisono
5th Republic of Indonesia Minister of Agriculture
In office
29 January 1948 – 4 August 1949
Preceded byAdenan Kapau Gani
Succeeded byIgnatius Joseph Kasimo Hendrowahyono
Personal details
Born(1911-02-28)28 February 1911
Serang, Banten, Dutch East Indies
Died15 February 1989(1989-02-15) (aged 77)
Jakarta, Indonesia
Political partyMasyumi
Spouse(s)T. Halimah Syehabuddin Prawiranegara

Sjafruddin Prawiranegara, (also written Syafruddin Prawiranegara; 28 February 1911 – 15 February 1989), was an Indonesian politician, economist, and latterly Islamic philosopher. An early member of the KNIP, he briefly served as the head of government during the Indonesian Revolution when fellow revolutionaries Sukarno and Hatta were captured.

Following the independence war, he served under Sukarno's cabinet in multiple positions before being arrested and removed due to his involvement in the PRRI rebellion.

Early life[edit]

Sjafruddin was born in Anyer Kidul, Banten on 28 February 1911, of a Bantenese-Minangkabau father and Bantenese mother.[1] In 1931, he graduated from AMS in Bandung. He wanted to continue his study in Leiden, but his family could not afford this, so he studied at the Law Faculty in Jakarta and earned a Meester in de Rechten degree in September, 1939.[2]

In 1939–1940 he was an editor of Soeara Timur, a journal sponsored by Soetardjo Kartohadikoesoemo. Syafruddin was more strongly nationalist than this however, refusing to join the Stadswacht (home guard), though he did in 1940 join the Dutch department of finance. He retained his job under the Japanese occupation, working as a tax inspector.[3]

Political career[edit]

After the proclamation of independence on 24 August 1945, he joined the KNI (Indonesian National Committee), becoming one of fifteen members of its Central Committee. In 1946, he joined Masjumi, the Islamic political party, publishing 'Politiek dan Revolusi Kita' (Our Politics and Revolution). He espoused a religious socialist philosophy, which led to his appointment as deputy minister of finance in Sjahrir's second cabinet from 12 March 1946 to 27 June 1947, Minister of Finance for Sjahrir's third cabinet from 2 October 1946 to 27 June 1947, as well as being Minister of Finance under Hatta's non-party cabinet and the continuation from 29 January 1948 until full independence in December 1949.[4]

The resistance to the Dutch was limited to Java and Sumatra, and increasing military success in Java made the position of the revolutionary leaders in Java increasingly weak. In anticipation of the Dutch overrunning the revolutionary Indonesian capital at Yogyakarta, Hatta was given authority to set up a republican government in defensible Central Sumatra. Hatta was to return to Java for UN-led peace talks, however, so Sjafruddin was given the role of Prime Minister-in-waiting. When the Dutch captured Sukarno, Hatta, and others, he assumed the role of Emergency President, in West Sumatra, liaising by radio with remaining nationalists in Java to organize resistance to the Dutch. From this position he was able to maintain the republican effort until the Dutch released Sukarno and Hatta.[4]

After Indonesia obtained full independence, Shafruddin continued to serve as minister of finance from 1 January 1950 to 6 September 1950 and 6 September 1950 to 20 March 1951 under Natsir leadership. He was then appointed as Governor of the Bank Indonesia until 1957.[5]

PRRI rebellion[edit]

Sjafruddin in 1957 came into conflict with the President over his opposition to nationalization of Dutch economic interests, and his opposition to Guided Democracy, culminating in the writing of a letter to Sukarno on 15 January 1958, from Palembang, South Sumatra, where Sjafruddin was in talks with the rebellious Colonel Barlian, telling Sukarno to return to the Indonesian Constitution.[5]

He was sacked as Bank Indonesia governor as a result, as Sjafruddin became more involved with the rebels called Pemerintahan Revolusioner Republik Indonesia. Sjafruddin was less reckless than some of his PRRI colleagues, opposing the five-day ultimatum (on strategic military grounds) on 10 February 1958 to Prime Minister Djuanda Kartawidjaja to establish a new Cabinet with Hatta and Hamengkubuwono IX, the Sultan of Yogyakarta, at its head. Therefore, on 15 February 1958, Sjafruddin became Prime Minister of PRRI; his signature, which had appeared on banknotes of the republican period (1945–1949), and as governor of Bank Indonesia (1951–1958), appeared on the notes of PRRI. Sjafruddin opposed the establishment of a separate country of Sumatra, instead seeing PRRI as a movement for Indonesian integrity, opposed to the centralization of power in Indonesia. Then, the rebellion was a failure, and on 25 August 1961, Sjafruddin surrendered to the army. He was imprisoned until 26 July 1966,[6] although he was granted official amnesty in 1961.[7]

Post rebellion[edit]

Upon release, Sjafruddin tended to express himself more through religion, preaching against corruption under Suharto, and leading the Petition of Fifty, and opposing the concept of Pancasila as the sole guiding principle for all groups, especially religious ones, in Indonesia. On 7 July 1983 he wrote an open letter to Suharto to protest against the provision in the draft law that endorsed the concept.[8] Due to this activity, Suharto banned Sjafruddin from leaving the country except for medical treatment.[9]


He died of a heart attack on 15 February 1989.[2]

Personal life[edit]

He married to Tengku (Princess) Halimah, daughter of the Camat of Buahbatu and descendant of the Minangkabau Rajah of Pagaruyung on 31 January 1941.[2]


  1. ^ Akmal Nasery Basral, Presiden Prawiranegara: Kisah 207 hari Syafruddin Prawiranegara Memimpin Indonesia, 2011
  2. ^ a b c Kahin 1989, p. 101
  3. ^ Kahin 1989, pp. 101–102
  4. ^ a b Kahin 1989, p. 102
  5. ^ a b Kahin 1989, p. 103
  6. ^ Kahin 1989, p. 104
  7. ^ Kian Wie Thee 2003, p. 76
  8. ^ Bourchier & Hadiz 2003, p. 144
  9. ^ Kahin 1989, p. 105


  • Bourchier, David; Hadiz, Vedi R. (2003). Indonesian Politics and Society: A Reader. New York: Routledge. ISBN 978-0-415-23750-5.
  • Kahin, George McT. (October 1989). "In Memoriam: Sjafruddin Prawiranegara (1911–1989)". Indonesia. Ithaca, New York: Cornell Modern Indonesia Project. 48: 101–106. ISSN 0019-7289.
  • Kian Wie Thie, ed. (2003). Recollections: The Indonesian Economy, 1950s–1990s. Singapore: Institute of Southeast Asian Studies. ISBN 978-981-230-174-1.