Mohammad Husni Thamrin
Mohammad Husni Thamrin (16 February 1894 – 11 January 1941) was
an Indonesian political thinker and National Hero.
Thamrin was born in Weltevreden, Batavia (modern day Jakarta), Dutch
East Indies, on 16 February 1894. His father, Thamrin Mohd. Tabri,
was the son of an English businessman who owned hotel Ort in Batavia,
but had been raised by his Javanese uncle and had adopted his name.
Thamrin was therefore born into a neo-priyayi class and in 1906, his
father became district head (wedana) under Governor General Johan
Cornelis van der Wijck. After graduating from Koning Willem III
Gymnasium, Thamrin took several government jobs before working for
the shipping company Koninklijke Paketvaart-Maatschappij.
In 1919, Thamrin was elected a member of the
Jakarta City Council. He
later became deputy mayor. In 1927 he was elected to the Volksraad; he
soon formed the National Fraction (Fraksi Nasional) to unite ten
groups of Indonesian nationalists under one flag and counteract the
reactionary Fatherlands Club (Vaderlandsche Club). Along with Dr.
Soetomo, Parindra's chair, Thamrin believed that independence could be
achieved through cooperation with the Dutch colonial government.
As a Volksraad member, Thamrin and Kusumom Utoyo went to eastern
Sumatra to look into working conditions at plantations there.
Disgusted by what they found, upon his return Thamrin gave a speech
condemning the plantation owners. He criticised the legalised
gambling and corporal punishments given for minor offences. In 1935
he was a founding member of the Grand Indonesia Party (Partai
Indonesia Raya, or Parindra).
After the death of Dr.
Soetomo in 1938, Thamrin became deputy chair of
Parindra. In at a meeting of the Volksraad in 1939, Thamrin proposed
that the Dutch terms Nederlands Indie, Nederlands Indisch and Inlander
(Dutch Indies, Dutch Indian, and Dutch Indians) be replaced with the
nationalist terms Indonesia, Indonesisch, and Indonesier (Indonesia,
Indonesian, and Indonesians). Although this received majority support
in the Volksraad, the Dutch government vetoed the motion. After his
request, the colonial government kept him under surveillance. By
1940, his proposal for the use of the term Indonesian had begun to
receive consideration, much to Thamrin's perplexity.
In May 1939, Thamrin spearheaded an effort to unite eight nationalist
organisations, including Parindra, in the Indonesian Political
Federation (Gaboengan Politiek Indonesia, or GAPI). The group had four
main goals: Indonesian self-determination, national unity, a
democratically elected party answering to the Indonesian people, and
solidarity between Indonesians and the Dutch to combat fascism.
On 6 January 1941, Thamrin was put under house arrest under suspicion
of aiding the advancing Japanese forces; he had previously
maintained warm relations with Japanese residents of the Indies.
Already ill, he died five days after his arrest. He was buried in
Karet Bivak Cemetery, Central Jakarta.
Jalan M.H. Thamrin
Jalan M.H. Thamrin in 1993
Thamrin has several objects named after him, including Jalan M.H.
Thamrin, a thoroughfare in Central Jakarta, and Mohammad Husni
Thamrin School for the Gifted, a school in East
Jakarta for students
with an IQ of more than 120. His old home on Kenari street in
Senen, Central Jakarta, is now a museum dedicated to his life. Two
statues of Thamrin have been erected in Jakarta: a bust near the
National Monument and a full-body statue in front of the Thamrin
He was declared a
National Hero of Indonesia
National Hero of Indonesia in 1964.
^ a b Soedarmanto 2007, p. 14.
^ B.O.B. Hering, M.H. Thamrin and his Quest for Indonesian Nationhood,
1917-1941, Stein (Limburg), 1996
^ a b c d e f g h JCG, Mohammad Hoesni Thamrin.
^ Elson 2008, p. 60.
^ Soedarmanto 2007, p. 13.
^ Elson 2008, p. 92.
^ Kahin 1952, pp. 96–97.
^ Elson 2008, p. 63.
Jakarta Post 2009, Even after you.
^ Sabarini 2009, Prestigious high school.
^ JCG, Gedung Muhammad Husni.
^ JCG, Husni Thamrin, Patung.
^ Ajisaka & Damayanti 2010, p. 132.
Ajisaka, Arya; Damayanti, Dewi (2010). Mengenal Pahlawan Indonesia
[Knowing Indonesian Heroes] (in Indonesian). Jakarta: Kawan Pustaka.
Elson, Robert Edward (2008). The Idea of Indonesia : a History.
Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
"Even after you die you have to follow rules". The
Jakarta Post. 5
September 2009. Retrieved 9 October 2011.
"Gedung Muhammad Husni Thamrin / Gedung Kenari" [Muhammad Husni
Thamrin Building / Kenari Building] (in Indonesian).
Government. Archived from the original on 17 April 2012. Retrieved 17
"Husni Thamrin, Patung" [Husni Thamrin, Statue]. Encyclopedia of
Jakarta (in Indonesian).
Jakarta City Government. Archived from the
original on 17 April 2012. Retrieved 17 April 2012.
Kahin, George McTurnan (1952). Nationalism and Revolution in
Indonesia. Ithaca: Cornell University Press. OCLC 406170.
"Mohammad Hoesni Thamrin". Encyclopedia of
Jakarta (in Indonesian).
Jakarta City Government. Archived from the original on 17 April 2012.
Retrieved 17 April 2012.
Sabarini, Prodita (14 March 2009). "Prestigious high school for gifted
kids to open". The
Jakarta Post. Archived from the original on 17
April 2012. Retrieved 17 April 2012.
Soedarmanto, J. B. (2007). Jejak-Jejak Pahlawan: Perekat Kesatuan
Bangsa Indonesia. Jakarta: Grasindo.
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