Donating 28 Kg of Monas Gold, This Entrepreneur's Story Ends Tragically Entrepreneur – 1 week ago

Jakarta, CNBC Indonesia – Stories about the construction of the National Monument (Monas) seem endless to be explored. Apart from the architect Frederich Silaban, another figure who is considered to have played an important role in the construction of this monument is a businessman named Teuku Markam.

Although his name is rarely mentioned, many sources state that Markam was the person who donated 28 kilograms of gold for the construction of the Monas fire monument. The truth regarding the grant of tens of kilograms of gold needs to be investigated further. However, one thing that cannot be denied is that Teuku Markam was a very rich businessman in the era of President Soekarno.

The book entitled 'What and Who Are Some Indonesian People' (1984) writes that Teuku Markam was born in Panton Labu, Aceh on March 12 1924. Even though he has Acehnese royal blood (uleebalang), Markam chose not to go to school.

At the age of 20, Markam chose to take up arms against the Dutch. He is also known as a weapons smuggler from Singapore to Pekanbaru. Markam's military career was quite successful, he was included in the middle class of officers with the rank of captain.

However, in 1957 he decided to leave the military and become a businessman. He founded the company PT. Karkam, an abbreviation of Skin Aceh Raya Captain Markam.

Richard Robinson in Indonesia: The Rise of Capital (2009) said that Karkam was the only company that had exclusive rights to export rubber from South Sumatra to Singapore and Malaysia during the confrontation period (1960-1963). Apart from that, Karkam also holds a large project license from the state, namely the import of Nissan Jeep and Asano Cement from Japan.

Thanks to this large business, Robinson said that Karkam is a company with millions of US dollars in assets. Because of this, he is also known as a businessman who likes to party in Jakarta. President Soekarno knew him as a successful businessman who often appeared at the State Palace for “dances” and philanthropic activities.

Markam's closeness to Soekarno actually made him worse off. After Suharto came to power, Markam was imprisoned. The New Order regime led by Suharto accused Markam of being involved in corruption and the 30 September Movement rebellion. Soeharto imprisoned Markam for 9 years from 1966 to 1975.

During his imprisonment, the New Order government took over Markam's property. The government confiscated various assets belonging to Markam, including cars, houses, land, as well as Rp. 20 billion and US$ 30 million in cash. In 1966 the amount of wealth was considered fantastic. The price of petrol alone was only IDR 0.3 at that time.

In Teuku Markam: The Grim Story of a National Philanthropist (2011), PT Karkam was also taken over by the state and changed to a BUMN called PT Berdikari. The BUMN contained new people and completely removed Markam's name and since then Markam has lived in misery.

Even though he was still running a business during the New Order, he still couldn't be as successful as he was during the Old Order. His name is still considered a 'traitor' and is not rehabilitated.

[Gambas:Video CNBC]