Tempo English – Yap Thiam Hien: Uncommon courage

HE was uncompromising and honest, traits that often put him at odds with the authorities. Born ethnic Chinese, he refused to change his name in order to become a true ‘Indonesian.’ His life was dedicated to defending those whose rights were trampled. He spoke at the Constituent Assembly, rejecting President Sukarno’s call to return to the 1945 Constitution, because it contained an offending human rights article, which was amended by the People’s Consultative Assembly, 50 years later. This is a report of a remarkable man of principle, willing to sacrifice everything for his beliefs.

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