The success of Indonesia’ national development turned into a disaster when the country was hit by a series of social, economic and political crises. The failure of the New Order (Orde Baru) government in overcoming these crises had awakened the nation to call for democracy in the social, economic and political fields. Led by students, people had begun to take to the streets and call for “Reformasi” or change. This movement bore fruit with the fall of the New Order government, led by President Suharto and the appointment of Vice President Prof. Dr. Ing. Dr. Sc.hc Bacharuddin Jusuf Habibie as the third President of the Republic of Indonesia.
This event was pivotal in the history of the Republic of Indonesia. It will be remembered as the birth of Indonesian democracy and the dawn of “Reformasi” – towards a more democratic Indonesian society.
As President of a nation of 200 million people, Habibie has shown his concern for the nation's desire to better understand and apply the general principles of democracy. His attention was based on his observations of the Old Order (Orde Lama) government and as an official during the New Order, which led him to study the situation.
Through a systematic, comprehensive, and unified process, he developed a concept, which is more clearly an manifest the proactive and preventive predictions on the interpretation of democracy as a political machine. This concept is then implemented in various political agendas, including:
In his relatively short time as President of the Republic of Indonesia, Habibie has maintained his modern outlook on democracy and implemented it in every decision-making process. Habibie's important role in accelerating the democratic process in Indonesia is well known by the national and international community so that he is considered the "Father of Democracy". His commitment to democracy is real. When the MPR, the highest institution in Indonesia with the authority to elect the president and vice president, rejected Habibie's speech, he bravely withdrew from the election of a new President. He did this, in addition to the MPR's rejection of his speech, did not prevent him from continuing to participate in elections, and the belief from his supporters that he will still be able to outperform the other presidential candidates, believing that once his speech was rejected by the MPR it would be unethical for him to continue to contest the election. This decision is also intended as a political education and adding the meaning for democracy.
As a former President who understands that democracy is a concept that must be continuously developed in order to lead to a modern Indonesia, Habibie recognizes the need to establish an institution dedicated to promoting and developing the concept of democracy in Indonesia. Its realization was with the establishment of The Habibie Center on November 10, 1999 in Jakarta, Indonesia.
The Habibie Center was founded by Bacharuddin Jusuf Habibie and his family as an independent, non-governmental and non-profit organization. With a vision to advance modernization and democratization efforts in Indonesia based on morality and cultural integrity and religious values.
Creating a culturally and structurally democratic society that recognizes, respects and upholds human rights, as well as examines and raises issues of democratic development and human rights.
Promote and improve human resource management and technology socialization efforts.
This mission is used as the basis for strategic development programs in The Habibie Center's agenda which includes democratization and human rights, human resources in the fields of science and technology, media and information, marine resources, dissemination and dissemination of technology, as well as network formation and cooperation.
The vision and mission of The Habibie center is embodied in the form of a logo. This logo consists of 4 pillars that describe the foundation of The Habibie Center, namely:
These four foundations form an integrated, harmonious, dynamic, and progressive unity that lies on a religious foundation – belief in God Almighty. This logo also illustrates the aim of the center to develop and achieve a democratic society that can sustain itself on the basis of religious and cultural values.