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Autobiography of Julius Tahija: Horizon Beyond

Buku Biografi Julius Tahija ; Melintas Cakrawala | Gramedia 1997
“Melintas Cakrawala" book Cover. A portrait of Julius Tahija. The background shows a pier in Saumlaki, South Tanimbar, Maluku.

Beyond Horizon was published by Times Book International in 1995. I got the Indonesian copy published by Gramedia in 1997 entitled “Melintas Cakrawala”. The book is followed by the release of the booklet entitled Memimpin dengan Nurani (2011) written by his fellows businessmen/politicians. Mr Tahija was keen on Wayang, a Javanese traditional puppet show. In wayang show, there is lakon or literally means story. The book Beyond Horizon is the way this medal-awarded solider and businessman tells his lakon.

Julius Tahija (1916 – 2002) is a well-known Indonesian businessman. During his life, he has contributed to the military, politic, and business in Indonesia. He was honored Militaire Willems Orde for his outstanding defense as a soldier during the World War II. He was a government official of Negara Indonesia Timur (East Indonesia State) for Republic of Indonesia in 1947 and continued served as the Minister of Information, Social, and Economy. In 1949, there was official transfer of power from the Dutch to Indonesia. This remarks the full sovereignty of Republic of Indonesia. Shortly afterward, he accepted invitation to join the Indonesia National Army (TNI) where he continued contributing for Indonesia military improvement until his retirement.

After his retirement from TNI, he dedicated his time for business. In 1966 he became the managing director and CEO of Caltex Pacific Indonesia (CPI). He was the first Indonesian and non-western CEO for Caltex which is now Chevron Indonesia. He is also the founder of Freeport Indonesia. In the book he mentioned detailed information of the establishment and development of Freeport. During his service to the enterprises, Mr Tahija promoted foreign investment to Indonesia. In addition to his contribution, he is trusted to work as the chairman of Pacific-Indonesia Business Association (now Kamar Dagang dan Industri – Kadin). In fact, the existence of Caltex and Freeport Indonesia have made a strategic bargaining power for Indonesian government to let investment and financial aids coming to the country.

Mr Tajija has been familiar with entrepreneurship since he was young. He was a leading business leader who promotes enterprise in Indonesia. He believes that enterprise is good for economy because it provides jobs, national income, human resources development, and also technological transfer. It was not easy for him to promote enterprise or private business at the time when Indonesia’s political arena was influenced by socialists.

Mr Tahija married to Jean Tahija and has two sons, Sjakon Tahija & George Tahija. George Tahija is now the director for Austindo.  Mr Tahija was filled with longing to visit Saumlaki where he fought Japanese navy (1942). In 1990, he finally managed to visit Saumlaki. He wrote this following wisdom revealing what is in horizon beyond.

Orang barat melihat waktu sebagai sesuatu yang linear, bergerak dari masa lalu, melewati masa sekarang, menuju masa depan. Orang Jawa melihat waktu sebagai lingkaran. Kita berada di suatu titik, dan kelak akan kembali ke sana. Tidak sulit untuk menyadari bahwa hidup itu terdiri dari keduanya. Kita memang bergerak maju…

Kebijaksanaan adalah kemampuan memelihara keseimbangan, tidak terlau terbius masa masa lalu, masa sekarang ataupun masa depan. Kebijaksanaan adalah mengetahui bahwa cakrawala yang membentang menawarkan kesempatan baru, dan sekaligus menyadari bahwa dari waktu ke waktu kita akan berjumpa kembali dengan kebenaran abadi, yang tak pernah berubah.

Julius Tahija 
Mr Tahija looked at the horizon through binoculars. On a beach in Ambon.

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