Riau Islands governor passes away at 73
Riau Islands Governor Muhammad Sani passed away on Friday after undergoing several days of medical treatment at Abdi Waluyo Hospital in Jakarta.
The Riau Islands administration’s head of public relations and protocol bureau Hero Mokhrizal told thejakartapost.com that Sani had passed away during a medical procedure at the hospital at 3:08 p.m. local time on Friday.
“I don’t know what illness he suffered from,” said Heri.
Born on May 11, 1942, Sani was inaugurated as Riau Islands governor by President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo on Feb.12. Reportedly, Sani had previously received medical treatment at a hospital in Singapore before being treated at Abdi Waluyo Hospital in Jakarta. Several years ago, Sani underwent a surgery on his back in a hospital in a Germany.
Sani is widely known as a career civil servant. He was the deputy of former Riau Islands governor Ismeth Abdullah between 2005 and 2010. Sani was then elected as Riau Islands governor with Soeryo Respationo as his deputy for the 2010-2015 period. Competing for a second term as governor in the 2015 election, Sani chose Nurdin Basirun as his running mate. He faced Soeryo, his former deputy governor, who was then running for the gubernatorial position. Sani won the election, supported by the Democratic Party, the NasDem Party and several other small parties.
Sani’s victory shocked many people as several surveys prior to the election showed that Soerya was in the lead. Soerya was also supported by President Jokowi as he was Jokowi’s campaign team leader for Sumatra during the 2014 presidential election.
After he was installed as governor, Sani prioritized developments in a number of fields, namely education, transportation, infrastructure, tourism and investment. He also promised that he would improve coordination between the central government and local administrations during his leadership.
Riau Islands Legislative Council Speaker Jumaga Nadeak said the governor’s body was flown to Batam on Friday afternoon. “[…] He will be laid to rest in Tanjung Pinang,” said Jumaga. (ebf)