Adnan Kapau Gani
A.K. Gani, c. 1947
1st Deputy Prime Minister of Indonesia
In office
11 November 1947 – 29 Januari 1948
Co-leading with Setyadjit Soegondo [id], R. Syamsudin [id] dan Wondoamiseno [id]
Prime MinisterAmir Sjarifoeddin
Preceded byTidak ada
Succeeded bySyafruddin Prawiranegara
In office
3 Juli 1947 – 11 November 1947
Co-leading with Setyadjit Soegondo [id]
Prime MinisterAmir Sjarifoeddin
7th Minister of Transportation
In office
19 November 1954 – 24 July 1955
Prime MinisterAli Sastroamidjojo
Preceded byRoosseno Soerjohadikoesoemo
Succeeded byFrits Laoh [id]
3rd Minister of Welfare of Indonesia
In office
2 October 1946 – 29 January 1948
Prime MinisterSutan Sjahrir
Amir Sjarifoeddin
Preceded byDarmawan Mangunkusumo
Succeeded bySjafruddin Prawiranegara
1st Governor of South Sumatra
In office
Preceded byTidak ada
Succeeded byMohammad Isa [id]
Personal details
Born(1905-09-16)16 September 1905
 Dutch East Indies Palembayan, Agam, Dutch East Indies
Died23 December 1968(1968-12-23) (aged 63)
 Indonesia Palembang, South Sumatera, Indonesia
SpouseMasturah Kapau Gani
Alma materGeneeskundige Hoogeschool te Batavia [id]
School tot Opleiding van Inlandsche Artsen
Awardsawarding a national hero (2007)

Major general TNI (Tit.) Dr. Adnan Kapau Gani or commonly abbreviated as A.K. Gani (16 September 1905 – 23 December 1968) was an Indonesian doctor, politician, actor and military figure. He served as Deputy Prime Minister in the Cabinet of Amir Sjarifuddin I and the Cabinet of Amir Sjarifuddin II.

Early life

A.K. Gani was born in Palembayan, West Sumatra, west of Bukittinggi, on 16 September 1905.[1][2] The son of a teacher, he finished his early studies in Bukittinggi in 1923 before going to Batavia (modern-day Jakarta), first for his secondary studies and then to study medicine.[2][3] He graduated from STOVIA (Dutch: School tot Opleiding van Indische Artsen), a school for prospective doctors, in 1926.[3]

Gani has been active in politics and social organisations since his teenage years. He was a member of several groups for native youth, including Jong Java and Jong Sumatera.[2] By the late 1920s, he had several enterprises running, including a boarding house and book reseller. This revenue enabled him to donate funds to the Youth Congress of 1928, where the Youth Pledge was first read and "Indonesia Raya" (the national anthem of Indonesia) was first played; Gani also attended this conference.[1][2][4] In 1931 he joined Partindo, which had split off from the Indonesian National Party (Partai Nasional Indonesia, or PNI) shortly after Soekarno's arrest by the colonial government. Gani became acquainted with Soekarno after the latter's release from prison the following year and joined the Indonesian Political Federation with him.[4][3]

Long interested in theatre,[4] in 1941 Gani starred in Union Film's Asmara Moerni after being invited by the film's director, Rd. Ariffien. At the time the country's film industry was beginning to cater to well-educated audiences. Although some of the audience considered Gani's involvement in Asmara Moerni as besmirching the independence movement, Gani considered it necessary to improve how the people viewed local productions. The film, the only one Gani ever made, was a commercial success.[5] That year Gani received his medical degree.[3]

After the Japanese occupied the Indies in 1942, Gani refused to collaborate. As such, he was arrested in September 1943 and held until October of the following year. He spent the rest of the occupation as a private practitioner.[3]

National revolution

After the country's independence and during the ensuing revolution, Gani gained greater political power while also serving in the military. From 1945 to 1947 he was the commissioner for the PNI in South Sumatra, also serving on the party's board. He also coordinated military efforts in the province.[2][6] He considered Palembang a viable economic powerhouse for the newly independent nation, arguing that with oil they could gather international support. He negotiated sales with international interests, including the Dutch-owned Shell while smuggling weapons and military supplies past the Dutch blockade.[4] He had numerous connections in the Chinese community in Singapore, which assisted him in these tasks.[7]

A.K. Gani, c. 1946

From 2 October 1946 until 27 June 1947 Gani served as Minister of Welfare under Sutan Sjahrir in the prime minister's third cabinet;[8] Syahrir later remarked that he felt as if Gani had been imposed upon him by Sukarno, who was by then president.[9] While serving as minister of welfare Gani, with Syahrir and Mohammad Roem, served as the Indonesian delegation to the third plenary session for the Linggarjati Agreement, becoming a signatory on 25 March 1947;[10] the Dutch considered him undiplomatic and prone to showing his emotions.[4] He also worked to establish a national banking network, the BTC, as well as several trade organisations.[4][11] Gani was also elected as chairman of the Indonesian National Party in the March 1947 PNI congress, but due to the political situation, he was replaced by Sujono Hadinoto in November 1947.[12]

With Amir Sjarifuddin and Setyadjit Soegondo, Gani was a formateur for the new cabinet, which received its mandate on 3 July.[13] He stayed on as Minister of Welfare while also serving as a deputy prime minister under Sjarifuddin.[14] Gani was the first cabinet member arrested during Operation Product, a Dutch assault on Indonesian-held territory in mid-July, but was later released.[2] He also attended a trade conference in Havana, Cuba.[15] In Sjarifuddin's second cabinet, Gani continued to serve as a deputy prime minister and minister of welfare[16] until the cabinet collapsed on 29 January 1948 owing to dissatisfaction with the Renville Agreement.[17]


After the revolution ended in 1949, Gani became the Military Governor of South Sumatra. In 1954, while still involved in politics as minister of transportation in the First Ali Sastroamidjojo Cabinet, he became the Chairman of the Council of Curators at Palembang State University (now Sriwijaya University); he remained active in Palembang until his death on 23 December 1968. [18]


Dr. A.K. Gani died at Charitas Palembang Hospital on December 23rd ,1968 at the age of 63 years and his body was buried in the Ksatria Ksetra Siguntang Heroes Cemetery, Palembang. Gani left behind a wife, Masturah, and had no children until the end of his life.[2]


Titles and Honors Mark

To commemorate his services, on November 9, 2007 President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono awarded the title National Hero of Indonesia to Adnan Kapau Gani. He received this title together with Slamet Rijadi, Ida Anak Agung Gde Agung, and Moestopo based on Presidential Decree Number 066/TK/2007[1][19]. Apart from that, his name is also immortalized as the name of a hospital in Palembang, namely Dr. A.K. Gani and the names of roads in several cities in Indonesia. There is also the Dr. Museum. A.K. Gani which is located in Palembang City.

Adnan Kapau Gani was also awarded various honors. These honors include:



Year Title Role Notes Ref.
1941 Asmara Moerni dr. Pardi



  1. ^ a b c The Jakarta Post 2007, Four forgotten independence.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g JCG, Adnan Kapau Gani.
  3. ^ a b c d e KR 1947, Kabinet Sjarifoeddin.
  4. ^ a b c d e f Mufid 2012, Menyelundup untuk Kemakmuran Republik.
  5. ^ Biran 2009, pp. 262–263.
  6. ^ Hägerdal 2009, p. 156.
  7. ^ Yong 2003, p. 3.
  8. ^ Suprapto 1985, p. 51.
  9. ^ Mrázek 1994, p. 364.
  10. ^ Suprapto 1985, pp. 54–55.
  11. ^ Yong 2003, pp. 49–50.
  12. ^ Kepartaian di Indonesia (in Indonesian). Kementerian Penerangan Rep. Indonesia. 1950. p. 76.
  13. ^ Suprapto 1985, p. 62.
  14. ^ Suprapto 1985, p. 63.
  15. ^ Yong 2003, p. 78.
  16. ^ Suprapto 1985, p. 71.
  17. ^ Suprapto 1985, p. 77.
  18. ^ Suprapto 1985, p. 161.
  19. ^ Suara Merdeka 2007, Presiden Anugerahkan Gelar.