His Excellency M. Jusuf Kalla, Vice President of the Republic of Indonesia, was the 10th Vice President of Indonesia and Chairman of the Golkar Party in the same period. He was an unsuccessful candidate for the Indonesian presidential election in 2009, and his term expired in October 2009.
His parents were Hadji Kalla, a local businessman and Athirah, a woman who sold Buginese silk for a living. He was the second child out of 17.
After completing school, Kalla attended the University of Hasanuddin in Makassar. There, he became active with the Indonesian Student Action Front (KAMI), a student organization which supported General Suharto in his bid to gain power from President Sukarno and was elected as Chairman of its South Sulawesi branch. He also had the beginnings of a political career, becoming a member of the Regional People’s Representative Council (DPRD) and Chairman of the Youth Division of Golkar when it still adopted a Joint Secretariat (Sekber) format.(source wikipedia)
In 1967, Kalla graduated from Faculty Economy of Universitas Hasanuddin in Makassar. At the time, the economic situation was still bleak and his father, Hadji contemplated shutting down the family’s enterprise, NV Hadji Kalla. It was here that Kalla decided to enter the business world. Sacrificing his political activism, Kalla became CEO of NV Hadji Kalla in 1968 whilst Hadji became the Company’s Chairman. In the beginning things were hard for Kalla, who only had one employee and his mother had to assist him by trading her silk and running a mini-transportation enterprise which consisted of three buses.
However business improved. Under Kalla’s leadership, NV Hadji Kalla expanded from export imports to the hotel industry, construction, car dealing, bridges, shipping, real estate, transportation, a shrimp farm, oil palm, and telecommunications. In addition to being CEO of NV Hadji Kalla, Kalla was also the CEO for the subsidiaries established under NV Hadji Kalla. In 1977, Kalla graduated from INSEAD, an international business school based in Fontainebleau, south of Paris.
Aside from his business career, Kalla has also been active in various organizations. From 1979 to 1989 he was Chairman of the Indonesian Economics Graduates Association (ISEI) branch in Ujung Pandang and continues to play an advisory role in ISEI. Kalla was extensively involved with the Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KADIN). From 1985-1998, he was KADIN Chairman for South Sulawesi and at one point was the KADIN Coordinator for Eastern Indonesia. In addition, Kalla is also on the boards of trustees for three universities in Makassar. Kalla has also contributed socially by building the Al Markaz Mosque and becoming chairman of its Islamic centre.
Kalla returned to politics in 1987 when he was appointed to the People’s Consultative Assembly (MPR) as a regional representative for South Sulawesi. He would be re-appointed to the MPR in 1992, 1997, and 1999.
When Abdurrahman Wahid was elected President by the MPR in 1999, Kalla was included in the Cabinet and was named Minister of Industry and Trade. He had only been in his position for six months when in April 2000, Wahid removed him from his position along with Minister of State Owned Enterprises, Laksamana Sukardi. Wahid accused both Kalla and Laksamana for corruption although he never backed it up with evidence.
In July 2001, through a Special Session of the MPR, Wahid was dismissed from office and Megawati Sukarnoputri took over as President. Megawati included Kalla in her Cabinet and named him Coordinating Minister of People’s Welfare. Although it was not part of his Ministerial brief, Kalla helped solve the inter-religious conflict in Poso on his native island of Sulawesi. Kalla facilitated a negotiation process which resulted in the signing of the Malino Declaration on 20 December 2001 and ceased three years’ worth of conflict. Two months later, Kalla once again helped solve another conflict in Sulawesi. On 12 February 2002, he, together with Coordinating Minister of Politics and Society Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, managed to solve a similar conflict on Ambon and Molucca through a Second Malino Declaration.
Although he had overwhelmingly won the Presidency, Yudhoyono was still weak in the People’s Representative Council (DPR). PD combined with all of its coalition partners were still too weak to contend with the Legislative muscles of Golkar and PDI-P who now intended to play the role of opposition.
With a National Congress to be held in December 2004, Yudhoyono and Kalla had originally backed Head of DPR Agung Laksono to become Golkar Chairman. When Agung was perceived to be too weak to run against Akbar, Yudhoyono and Kalla threw their weight behind Surya Paloh. Finally, when Paloh was also perceived to be to weak to run against Akbar, Yudhoyono gave the green light for Kalla to run for the Golkar Chairmanship. On 19 December 2004, Kalla was elected as the new Chairman of Golkar.
Kalla’s victory posed a dilemma for Yudhoyono. Although it now enabled Yudhoyono to pass legislation, Kalla’s new position meant that in one sense, he was now more powerful than Yudhoyono.
The first sign that points to the existence of a rivalry was during the Indian Ocean Tsunami when Kalla, apparently on his own initiative assembled the Ministers and signed a Vice Presidential decree ordering work to begin on rehabilitating Aceh. The legality of his Vice Presidential decree was questioned.although Yudhoyono maintained that it was he who gave the orders for Kalla to proceed.
The second sign was in September 2005 when Yudhoyono went to New York to attend the annual United Nations Summit. Although Yudhoyono had left Kalla to take charge of proceedings at Jakarta, he seemed to be bent on maintaining a watch on matters at home. Yudhoyono would hold a video conference from New York to receive reports from Ministers. Critics suggest that this was an expression of distrust by Yudhoyono The suggestion seemed to gain momentum when Kalla only showed up for one video conference and then spent the rest of the time taking care of Golkar matters.
Although things calmed down, especially with Golkar gaining another Cabinet position in the reshuffle, the alleged rivalry resurfaced again in October 2006 when Yudhoyono established the Presidential Work Unit for the Organization of Reform Program (UKP3R). There was accusation that this was an attempt by Yudhoyono to exclude Kalla from Government. Yudhoyono was quick to clarify that in supervising UKP3R, he will be assisted by Kalla.
Kalla ran for the presidency with Wiranto as his running mate in the 2009 Indonesian presidential election, finishing third with 12.4 per cent of the vote.