Portrait, c. 1953-1954
2nd Governor of Central Java
In office
13 October 1945 – 4 August 1949
Preceded bySoeroso
Succeeded byBoedijono
5th Regent of Sragen
In office
Preceded byYudonegoro
Succeeded byDarmonegoro
Ministerial roles
1950–1951Minister of Justice
1951–1952Minister of Education
1953–1954Deputy Prime Minister
1953–1954Acting Minister of National Welfare
Personal details
Raden Mas Soenardi

(1895-04-20)20 April 1895
Surakarta, Dutch East Indies
Died4 March 1974(1974-03-04) (aged 78)
Jakarta, Indonesia
Resting placeTirip village, Sukoharjo, Central Java, Indonesia
Political partyGreat Indonesia Unity Party
Spouse(s)B. R. A. Soewarni
Alma materRechtshoogeschool

Kanjeng Raden Mas Tumenggung Wongsonegoro (20 April 1895[1][a] – 4 March 1974[3][b]), more commonly known simply as Wongsonegoro, was an Indonesian politician, who served as the Deputy Prime Minister of Indonesia, alongside Zainul Arifin under Prime Minister Ali Sastroamidjojo, and the Governor of Central Java during the Indonesian National Revolution. He also served as minister in the Indonesian government a number of times, including Minister of Home Affairs, Minister of Justice, and Minister of Education.


Early life and education

Wongsonegoro was born on 20 April 1895, in Surakarta, Central Java, as R. M. Soenardi. His father was RM. Ngabehi Tjitodiprodjo (the abdi dalem panewu of Susuhunan Pakubuwono X) and R.A Soenartinah.[4] He started his education at the Standardschool, before continuing to the Europeesche Lagere School (ELS), an elementary school for Europeans and indigenous people of noble descent, and graduated in 1911. He again continued his education to the Meer Uitgebreid Lager Onderwijs (MULO) school, the equivalent of junior high school, which he completed in 1914.[1]

After this, he continued his studies at the Rechtsschool. He then worked as a self-employed government employee to support his education. He studied at the Rechtshoogeschool in Batavia and completed his education in 1919. In Batavia he was active in a number of student movements and associations.[1] After finishing his education, Wongsonegoro worked at the Surakarta District Court (Landraad) in 1917. He continued his career at the kepatihan office with the rank of Panewu, then became a prosecutor. Wongsonegoro was also active in the Budi Utomo and Jong Java organizations. Within Budi Utomo, Wongsonegoro was a confidant of the Chairman of the Budi Utomo Executive Board, allowing him to mingle more broadly with many of the organization's leaders.[5][4] In 1939, until the arrival of the Japanese occupation government, Wongsonegoro served as Regent of Sragen.[6]

Struggle for Independence

When the Japanese occupation government established the Investigating Committee for Preparatory Work for Independence (BPUPK), he became one of the members of the body, sitting on the Constitution Drafting Committee, which was chaired by future-president Sukarno. He took part in preparing the formulation of Article 2 and Article 9 of the 1945 Constitution (regarding religion), also participating in the debate about it.[6] The debate was mainly concerned over the wording of the tenet of Pancasila. At the time, it read "Belief in the one and only God, with Muslims required to follow Sharia law". This was feared to come into conflict with adat culture and unnecessarily burden those from other religions. It was eventually changed by future-vice president Mohammad Hatta.[7]

After the Proclamation of Indonesian Independence, Wongsonegoro took office Fuko Syutjokan, a position at the provincial level during the Japanese occupation, in Semarang. On 19 August 1945, Wongsonegoro announced over the radio that all power over the Semarang area is declared to be included the territory of the Republic of Indonesia. Wongsonegoro was then appointed became the deputy governor of Central Java who was domiciled at time in Semarang, while Raden Pandji Soeroso was serving as Governor of Central Java. A few months later, he was appointed Governor of Central Java, replacing Soeroso.[8]

Post-independence career

The following year he replaced Abdoel Gaffar Pringgodigdo as Minister of Justice during the Natsir Cabinet, serving from 6 September 1950 to 27 April 1951.[2] In early February 1951 he attempted to pass legislation requiring the election of a Constituent Assembly; however, the Natsir Cabinet collapsed before the bill could be passed.[9] Wongsonegoro himself was asked to resign by his party before the collapse.[10] He then became Minister of Education and Culture from 27 April 1951 to 3 April 1952.[2]

Afterwards, he served as the formateur of the First Ali Sastroamidjojo Cabinet, completing the cabinet after 58 days of parliamentary crisis.[11] Wongsonegoro received mixed reception as formateur, with nationalist and communist groups in favour and Muslim and socialist groups against him.[12] Communist Party leader Dipa Nusantara Aidit, a hearty supporter of Wongsonegoro, spoke extremely softly (and thus, in Javanese culture, politely) to him at public meetings, to the point that at times the formateur "was obliged to ask another participant to be [Adiet's] microphone".[13]

Meanwhile, the Masyumi Party was staunchly against him, expressing concern for his attempt to keep the Socialist Party out of the cabinet.[13] When he eventually finished forming the cabinet on 31 July 1953, he had lost support from Christian political parties and Masyumi, replacing their candidates with minor and communist-sympathizing groups.[14] Wongsonegoro took the position of Deputy Prime Minister in this cabinet, later taking on additional duties as acting Minister of State with Responsibility for State Welfare on 29 September 1953.[14] He resigned from both positions on 23 October.[14]

Death and legacy

Wongsonegoro died on 4 March 1974 in the capital city of Jakarta. His body was buried in the Kendaran Palace Family Cemetery in Tirip Village, Sukoharjo, Surakarta.[3] At the location of his grave, there is a monument with the phrase "Janma Luwih Hambuka Tunggal," which means that people who have more ability will always be closer to the Creator. There is also written "Haruming Sabda Haruming Budi," which means a person who always speaks good words in the correct sense, describes the personality of a virtuous person.[4]


  1. ^ Another version places his date of birth on 20 April 1897[2]
  2. ^ Another version places his date of death on 6 March 1978[2]



  1. ^ a b c Manus et al. 1993, p. 108.
  2. ^ a b c d Bahari 2011, p. 40.
  3. ^ a b Manus et al. 1993, p. 112.
  4. ^ a b c Fardianto 2020.
  5. ^ Miert 2003, p. 128.
  6. ^ a b Manus et al. 1993, p. 109.
  7. ^ Tempo 2011.
  8. ^ Manus et al. 1993, p. 110.
  9. ^ Feith 2007, pp. 153–154.
  10. ^ Feith 2007, p. 168.
  11. ^ Feith 2007, p. 331.
  12. ^ Feith 2007, pp. 336–337.
  13. ^ a b Feith 2007, p. 337.
  14. ^ a b c Feith 2007, p. 338.


  • Manus, MPB.; Ghazali, Zulfikar; Zuhdi, Susanto; Sumardi; Kuswiah, Wiwi; Haryono, Suryo; Wulandari, Triana; Said, Julinar (1993). Tokoh-tokoh Badan Penyelidik Usaha-Usaha Persiapan Kemerdekaan Indonesia (in Indonesian). Ministry of Education and Culture, Directorate of History and Traditional Values, National Historical Inventory and Documentation Project.
  • Bahari, Adib (2011). Pendekar Hukum Indonesia [Indonesian Legal Giants] (in Indonesian). Yogyakarta: Pustaka Yustisis. ISBN 978-979-3411-04-0.
  • Tempo (2011). "Dalam Pusaran Tujuh Kata" [In Just Seven Words]. Tempo (in Indonesian). Archived from the original on 16 December 2011. Retrieved 16 November 2011.
  • Feith, Herbert (2007) [1962]. The Decline of Constitutional Democracy in Indonesia. Singapore: Equinox Publishing. ISBN 978-979-3780-45-0.
  • Tempo book team (2016). Seri Tempo: Wahid Hasyim. Indonesia: Tempo Publishing. ISBN 9789799112316.
  • Fardianto, Fariz (2020). "Wongsonegoro, Mantan Waperdam yang Jadi Pelopor Ilmu Kebatinan". jateng.idntimes.com. Retrieved 23 October 2021.
  • Miert, Hans van (2003). Dengan semangat berkobar: nasionalisme dan gerakan pemuda di Indonesia, 1918-1930 (in Indonesian). KITLV. ISBN 978-979-96657-3-7.