Maraden Panggabean
Sun . 18 Aug 2018

Maraden Panggabean

Maraden Saur Halomoan Panggabean born in Tarutung, North Sumatera, Indonesia, June 29, 1922 - died in Jakarta, Indonesia, May 28, 2000 at the age of 77 years or more commonly known as Maraden Panggabean was a prominent Indonesian General during the early years of General Suharto's New Order regime


  • 1 Early life
  • 2 Military career
  • 3 Supersemar controversy
  • 4 New Order
    • 41 Military career during New Order
    • 42 Golkar
    • 43 Government official
    • 44 Other activities
  • 5 Death
  • 6 Miscellaneous
  • 7 Honour
    • 71 Foreign honour
  • 8 External links
  • 9 Notes

Early lifeedit

Panggabean was born in Tarutung, North Sumatra, on 29 June 1922 He is from Batak ethnic group

After completing his education, Panggabean took on work as a teacher, an occupation held in high regard in the Batak community, and even became the Principal of a school in Tarutung In 1942, with the arrival and subsequent occupation of Indonesia by the Japanese Imperial Army, Panggabean left the field of education He first trained to become a civil servant under the Japanese Occupational Government although he would soon be interested in taking on a military career

Military careeredit

In 1943, the Japanese Occupational Government formed the Defenders of the Fatherland Army PETA an auxiliary force consisting of Indonesians which were designed to assist the Japanese should the Allies come to invade Indonesia Like many of his military contemporaries, Panggabean joined PETA In Panggabean's case however, he seemed to have only manage to go through military schooling and basic training before the Japanese surrendered and nationalist leaders Sukarno and Hatta proclaimed Indonesia's Independence

Like all other youths all around Indonesia, Panggabean was caught up in the rush to take weapons from the Japanese in preparation of the formation of a National Army On 5 October 1945, the People's Security Army TKR, the precursor to ABRI and later on, TNI was formed Panggabean took up the position of military trainer at Sibolga before serving as Chief of Staff for the 1st Battalion, 4th Regiment, 10th Division in Sumatra until 1949

Following the Indonesian National Revolution of 1945–1950, Panggabean spent the next 10 years as a regimental chief of staff at Tapanuli and as a sectoral commander in the Military Territory TT of North Sumatra In 1957, Panggabean also took the opportunity for further military education at the Infantry Officers Advanced Course in the United States In 1959, Panggabean became battalion commander before being transferred to TT II/Sriwijaya as resort commander

Panggabean then received his first assignment out of Sumatra as a military court judge in Makassar, Sulawesi As the Indonesia-Malaysia confrontation intensified, Panggabean was appointed commander of the 2nd War Theater, with authority over the troops in Borneo There, he developed a friendship with Suharto 1 as the then Kostrad commander had troops stationed in Borneo

After he cracked down on the 30 September Movement, Suharto became the commander of the Army Suharto seemed to have remembered Panggabean and appointed him as a staff member with the position of 2nd deputy

Supersemar controversyedit

Although originally not part of the events which led to the formulation of Supersemar and Suharto receiving executive power, Panggabean became part of the controversy in 1998 According to Sukardjo Wilardjito, a Presidential Bodyguard stationed at Bogor, Panggabean was present with Amirmachmud, M Jusuf, and Basuki Rahmat, the three Generals that many accounts agree to have been present when Supersemar was signed According to Sukardjo, Panggabean, alongside Basuki held Sukarno at gunpoint while the President signed a pre-prepared Supersemar2

New Orderedit

Military career during New Orderedit

In July 1966, the position of Deputy Army Commander was created and Panggabean was appointed to the position to assist Suharto with his increasing workload In 1967, Panggabean became Army Commander himself As Army Commander, Panggabean witnessed a reorganization in ABRI which saw the Armed Services Commanders be reduced in status to Chief of Staffs under the control of an ABRI Commander; a position to be filled by Suharto himself In 1969, Panggabean became the Commander of Kopkamtib Two years later, in 1971, Suharto reshuffled the Cabinet and Panggabean became Deputy ABRI Commander in addition to becoming State Minister assisting the President in matters of Defense and Security 3

Panggabean reached the pinnacle of his military career in 1973 when he became the ABRI Commander in addition to becoming Minister of Defense and Security As ABRI Commander, Panggabean had differences with Minister of Foreign Affairs Adam Malik in the way in which Indonesia should approach its foreign policy in South East Asia Malik wanted ASEAN to only be about economic cooperation whilst Panggabean wanted ASEAN to also be about security cooperation4 In addition, Panggabean also wanted to send troops to assist the South Vietnamese in the Vietnam War On this matter, Suharto sided with Malik

In April 1978, Panggabean was discharged as ABRI Commander and Minister of Defense and Security


In addition to continuing his military career, Panggabean also began a political career by being involved in Golkar, the political party which Suharto had chosen as part of his re-election bid In 1973, Panggabean became a member of the Golkar Executive Board before becoming Chairman of the Executive Board in 1974 He served in this position until 1978 when Suharto replaced him in the position Nevertheless, Panggabean was retained as Vice Chairman of the Executive Board and served as the Day-to-Day Chairman until 1988

Government officialedit

After being discharged as ABRI Commander, Panggabean was named by Suharto as Coordinating Minister of Politics and Security He served as Minister until 1983 when he was appointed Chairman of the Supreme Advisory Council DPA When his term as DPA Chairman ended in 1988, Panggabean retired from politics

Other activitiesedit

In 1985, Panggabean became Advisory Chairman for the Joint Organization of Batak Tradition and Culture LPAKB In 1989, he became a Patron of the Bona Pasogit Foundation, an organization dealing with rehabillitation of earthquake affected areas in Panggabean's native Tarutung


Panggabean in Jakarta on 22 May 2000 after suffering from stroke


Panggabean was married to Meida Seimima Tambunan with whom he had four children

He was of Batak ethnicity and was a Protestant


Foreign honouredit

  •  Malaysia : Honorary Grand Commander of the Order of Loyalty to the Crown of Malaysia 19715

External linksedit

  • in Indonesian Profile on Tokohindonesiacompermanent dead link


  1. ^ INDONESIA-NEWS JKTP - Maraden Panggabean Dies at 78 Archived 2006-09-15 at the Wayback Machine
  2. ^ INDONEWS archives - August 1998, week 4 #652
  3. ^ Elson, Robert 2001 Suharto: A Political Biography UK: The Press Syndicate of the University of Cambridge p 201 ISBN 0-521-77326-1 
  4. ^ Elson, Robert 2001 Suharto: A Political Biography UK: The Press Syndicate of the University of Cambridge pp 213–214 ISBN 0-521-77326-1 
  5. ^ "Senarai Penuh Penerima Darjah Kebesaran, Bintang dan Pingat Persekutuan Tahun 1971" PDF 
Military offices
New title Deputy Chief of Staff of Indonesian Army
July 1966–1967
Succeeded by
Umar Wirahadikusumah
Preceded by
Chief of Staff of Indonesian Army
Succeeded by
Umar Wirahadikusumah
Preceded by
Commander of Kopkamtib
November 19, 1969–March 27, 1973
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Commander-in-Chief of the Indonesian Armed Forces
March 1973–April 1978
Succeeded by
Mohammad Jusuf
Government offices
Preceded by
Idham Chalid
Chairman of Supreme Advisory Council
Succeeded by
Political offices
New title Coordinating Minister for Political and Security Affairs of Indonesia
Succeeded by
Surono Reksodimejo
Preceded by
Minister of Defence of Indonesia
Succeeded by
Mohammad Jusuf
Party political offices
Preceded by
Chairman of the Golkar Executive Board
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Vice-Chairman of the Golkar Executive Board
Succeeded by
Honorary titles
Preceded by
Advisory Chairman for the Joint Organization of Batak Tradition and Culture LPAKB
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Patron of the Bona Pasogit Foundation
Succeeded by

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