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Leaders, Thinkers, and Heroes Who Inspired Prabowo Subianto

Source: “Prabowo: Rekam Foto Sang Patriot,” pages 152-173

Prabowo Subianto is a lifelong learner. He enjoys reading, listening, and absorbing insights from national figures who inspire and shape him.

Throughout his life, Prabowo has learned from religious leaders, military figures, and national heroes, particularly from the Generation of ’45. He also fosters friendships with international figures dedicated to the progress and welfare of their people.

As a child, Prabowo lived near K.H. Hasyim Asyari, the grandfather of Indonesia’s fourth President, Gus Dur. Prabowo’s grandfather and father always encouraged him to learn about religion and life from the elders.

Following his grandfather’s and father’s teachings, Prabowo sought guidance from religious leaders like K.H. Maimun Zubair and military figures like Lieutenant General TNI (Ret.) Ahmad Kemal Idris.

Prabowo’s respect for religious scholars and his eagerness to learn brought him close to figures such as Habib Umar bin Hafidz from Yemen, Sheikh H. Hasyim Al-Syarwani, K.H. Abdullah Gymnastiar, K.H. Muhammad Arifin Ilham, and Ustaz Abdul Somad.

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Among all the religious figures in Indonesia, Prabowo was particularly close to Dr. K.H. Abdurrahman Wahid, affectionately known as Gus Dur. Their bond began in childhood and lasted until Gus Dur’s last days, allowing Gus Dur to profoundly understand Prabowo and affirm, “Prabowo is an honest and decisive man. Indonesia needs a leader like Prabowo.”

In addition to his special relationship with K.H. Abdurrahman Wahid (Gus Dur), Prabowo also maintained friendships with other figures from Nahdlatul Ulama, including the late K.H. Salahuddin Wahid (Gus Sholah), the late K.H. Nawawi Abdul Jalil, K.H. Ahmad Mustofa Bisri (Gus Mus), K.H. Achmad Muzakki Syah, K.H. Abdul Ghofur, and Kyai Kholil As’ad Syamsul Arifin.

When Prabowo was young, Prof. Sumitro once took him to meet Sukarno. Prabowo still remembers being lifted in the air by Sukarno.

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Although Prabowo’s father, Prof. Sumitro Djojohadikusumo, had disagreements with Ir. Sukarno, he always told Prabowo that Sukarno was a great figure who united and founded the Indonesian nation, which is why Prabowo admired him and was often described as the “ideological son” of Ir. Sukarno. 

To honor President Sukarno’s contributions to building Indonesia’s defense, Prabowo established a monument to Sukarno in front of the Ministry of Defense office, which was inaugurated by the entire Sukarno family along with Prabowo.

Prabowo’s admiration for the ideas of Presidents Sukarno, Suharto, Gus Dur, and the efforts of Prince Diponegoro led him to consistently honor our nation’s past leaders.

As a soldier, Prabowo learned from prominent generals such as General TNI (Ret.) A.H. Nasution, General TNI (Ret.) M. Jusuf, General TNI (Ret.) Maraden Saur Halomoan Panggabean, and General TNI (Ret.) Try Sutrisno.

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Prabowo’s respect for his seniors and his eagerness to learn from them were hallmarks not only of his military career but also of his tenure as Defense Minister. He regularly invites senior advisors to provide their insights on enhancing Indonesia’s defense strategy.

Prabowo’s relationships with international leaders who are equally committed to their nations mirror his own dedication. These relationships include:

Timor Leste’s PM Xanana Gusmao

UAE President Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed

King Abdullah II of Jordan

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan

French President Emmanuel Macron

Prince Khalid bin Salman, brother of the Saudi Crown Prince

U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin

Palestinian PM Mohammad I.M. Shtayyeh

Malaysian PM Anwar Ibrahim

These connections underscore Prabowo’s consistent commitment to thinking about and acting for the betterment of his nation and building global partnerships based on shared goals.

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