Resilience Across Decades: The Journey of Murad Aidit

One day in the year 2005, Abdul Wadud Karim Amrullah (AWKA), also known as the half-brother of Buya Hamka, sent a letter to his friend Murad Aidit, through his daughter Rehana Soetidja Amrull Rodriguez, during a visit to Indonesia. The meeting between Murad and Rehana was described as emotional, and Murad expressed his joy at finally meeting one of AWKA’s children. He conveyed a message to AWKA that, before he passed away, he wanted to meet him.

A year later, in December 2006, AWKA visited Indonesia. An emotional atmosphere prevailed as, after six decades of separation, he could reunite with Murad in person. They stayed at a hotel and spent the night sharing stories and life experiences. AWKA felt a deep sense of compassion upon learning about the bitter experiences Murad endured during his imprisonment after the political storm of 1965.

Their friendship began in the early 1940s, when they both attended the same school, HIS (Holland Inlandsche School), in Jakarta. Nine years later, they parted ways when AWKA moved to Rotterdam, Netherlands. Born in Tanjung Pandan, Belitung, Sumatra Selatan, on August 21, 1927, Murad Aidit was the fourth child of Abdullah Aidit and Mailan.

Murad faced financial difficulties in Jakarta during the Japanese occupation, struggling to make ends meet after his family’s financial support was cut off. He and his brother worked hard to earn a living, with Murad selling newspapers and badges depicting national heroes. The hardships led him to seek help from Pekope (Penolong Korban Perang), and he moved between different places before eventually returning to Belitung.

Back in his hometown, Murad’s family was also facing challenges, and he, along with his brother and another relative, was sent back to Jakarta to escape forced labor. The journey was not easy, as their ship got stranded in Pekalongan, and they had to deal with the Japanese military before finally reaching Jakarta by train.

In Jakarta, Murad continued his education and became involved in the struggle for independence. He faced difficult times, often having only one meal a day. The situation worsened when Chairil Anwar, his friend and mentor to his half-brother Sobron Aidit, left without notice, leaving Sobron in a dire situation.

Murad’s health took a severe hit when he contracted tuberculosis and spent years in various hospitals. Eventually, with the help of a Swiss medication not available in Indonesia at that time, Murad’s health began to improve.

After his recovery, Murad entered politics, becoming a member of the regional parliament. He continued his studies in Moscow and earned a degree in economics. However, his return to Indonesia coincided with political turmoil, leading to his arrest in October 1965. Over the following years, Murad endured imprisonment and relocations, and his family faced arrests as well.

Released in 1978, Murad lived a humble life, working as a translator. He sought justice for his brother D.N. Aidit and his family, writing letters to presidents and requesting a review of the events surrounding the G30S. However, his pleas went unanswered.

Murad Aidit passed away on March 29, 2008, at the age of 81. His burial marked the end of a journey that witnessed a resilient spirit amid tumultuous times in Indonesia’s history.