Indonesia mourns the loss of economist Rizal Ramli

The untimely demise of Indonesia’s renowned economist, politician and public figure, Rizal Ramli, has sparked a surge of interest in his life. He was recognised for his significant contributions to the economic landscape and his influential role as the Finance Minister of Indonesia from 2001 to 2004 under the Megawati Sukarnoputri administration. Beyond his political engagements, Ramli was an avid educator, author and public speaker, disseminating his economic knowledge and insights broadly. With the recent announcement of his death, many who admired him are mourning his loss and inquiring about the health complications that led to his passing.

The details about Rizal Ramli’s health, specifically his battle with a sugar-related illness, have become a subject of interest after his death on January 2, 2024, at 69 years of age. As soon as the news of his demise was made public, questions were raised about the circumstances surrounding his health. Information about Ramli’s health issues is somewhat limited, but it is known that he had been battling diabetes. His friend, Herdi Sahrasad, confirmed that Ramli had been undergoing treatment for several weeks at the Cipto Mangunkusumo Hospital (RSCM) in Jakarta. Sahrasad said, “We are unsure of his exact illness, but he was previously diagnosed with diabetes.” At present, it is speculated that his long-standing struggle with diabetes might have played a role in his death, although no official confirmation has been provided.

Information about Rizal Ramli’s health condition before his death remains scanty as he was a private individual who seldom discussed his personal matters in public forums. This has made it challenging to ascertain the complete spectrum of his health issues. Known for his discreet nature, Ramli had not publicly disclosed any health complications, apart from his battle with diabetes. Diabetes, a chronic condition, is characterised by the pancreas’ inability to produce adequate insulin or the body’s inefficient use of the insulin produced.

This article has attempted to collate and present all the available information about Rizal Ramli and his health, in response to the public’s interest in knowing more about the circumstances leading to his untimely death.