Thousands of Indonesians gathered in Jakarta yesterday to mourn former president B J Habibie, who came to power as the world's fourth largest nation endured a turbulent transition to democracy after former strongman Suharto stepped down in 1998.
Mr Habibie died aged 83 on Wednesday at Jakarta's Gatot Subroto army hospital, where he had been undergoing treatment for heart problems since 1 September.
People lined the streets as the cortege drove through central Jakarta for the state funeral at the Kalibata Heroes Memorial Park, where President Joko Widodo was set to lead the ceremony.
"He is a legitimate statesman, an inspirator, a scientist who believes that with no really like intelligence is hazardous", Widodo claimed in a farewell speech. His wife of 48 years, Hasri Ainun Habibie, a medical doctor, died in 2010.
Foreign leaders and diplomats offered their condolences, including the USA and British ambassadors in Jakarta. Habibie is survived by two sons.
Writing in a letter, President Halimah Yacob said Indonesia has lost a leader who steered the country "with objective and direction" during its transition to democracy and after the 1997 Asian financial crisis.
Mahathir Mohamad, prime minister of neighbouring Malaysia, posted his condolences on Twitter and said the death of Habibie was a "big loss". "He also pushed for greater regional autonomy and decentralisation in Indonesia, with a view to uniting and improving the lives of all Indonesians", PM Lee said.
Senior Minister Teo Chee Hean said on Facebook that he was "deeply saddened" by Habibie's passing while on his way to Jakarta for a working visit.
Taking over from Suharto, who had ruled the world's most populous Muslim majority country with an iron fist for 32 years, Habibie held power for just 17 months.
He ordered the release of political prisoners, dismantled restrictions on the press and reformed politics to allow for free elections.
Responding to intercontinental criticism of Indonesia's occupation of Portugal's previous colony of East Timor, Habibie stunned Indonesians by asserting in January 1999 a approach to hold a referendum less than United Nations supervision on self-perseverance, supplying a alternative concerning specific autonomy and independence, but East Timorese voted overwhelmingly to split from Indonesia. The East Timorese voted in favour of independence triggering a wave of violence.