Salim Said, Journalist, Academician and Military and Film Expert, Dies at 80


Jakarta, IO – Indonesian journalist, academician and military and film expert Prof. Salim Said died on Saturday evening (May 18) at Cipto Mangunkusumo Hospital (RSCM) Jakarta. He was buried at Tanah Kusir Cemetery on Sunday, May 19. 

Salim Said was born in Parepare, South Sulawesi, on November 10, 1943. He studied at the Indonesian National Theater Academy, acted in stage plays and directed a number of them. 

Salim Said was an astute learner who started his studies at the Indonesian National Theater Academy (1964-1965) and continued to the Faculty of Psychology of the University of Indonesia (1966- 1967). He also pursued a degree at the Department of Sociology, the Faculty of Social and Political Sciences, of the University of Indonesia (1977) and earned a Ph.D. from Ohio State University, Columbus, United States (1985). 

Salim Said wrote a popular dissertation spotlighting the political role of the Indonesian Armed Forces during the 1945-1949 revolution, proclaiming his expertise as an observer of Indonesian military politics. 

His career in journalism spanned from an editor at Pelopor Baru, Angkatan Bersenjata and Tempo magazine (1971-1987). 

Salim Said was best known for his works, “Profil Dunia Film Indonesia” (1982), “Militer Indonesia dan Politik: Dulu, Kini, dan Kelak” (2001), “Dari Gestapu ke Reformasi: Serangkaian Kesaksian” (2013) dan “Gestapu 65: PKI, Aidit, Sukarno dan Soeharto”. 

His international career was marked by his appointment as Ambassador to the Czech Republic from October 18, 2006, to August 10, 2010. 

In the Indonesian film industry, Salim Said began writing in prominent magazines and newspapers in the 1980s. He was also invited to speak at film festivals and important events, due to his critical reviews and vast knowledge of the film industry. His ability to connect movies with social and political issues also made him a prominent film expert. 

Salim Said’s passion for film and the military might seem unrelated; however, he could blend these two interests. His expertise took him to write and speak about using film to understand military issues and analyze movies set during the war. 

Said’s unique mastery made him a renowned figure in both the film industry and the military. His original and provocative insights have provided new perspectives on crucial topics. 

General Chairman of the Indonesian Journalists Association (PWI) Hendry Ch. Bangun applauded Salim Said for being a role model in Indonesian journalism, making his passing a great loss for the news and media community in Indonesia. 

“We’ve lost a rare gem in journalism. The press needs a role model like Salim Said, who actively produced high-quality works and did not fear revealing the truth,” said Hendry. 

“Prof. Salim Said has demonstrated that journalists can be many things because the key is to keep learning through self-learning or formal education at the universities,” he added. 

Meanwhile, Chairwoman of the Press Council Ninik Rahayu remembered Salim Said as a senior journalist and also a friend to journalists in Indonesia. 

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“Prof Salim Said had been a friend to us all. (He was) a senior journalist and a national press and film expert,” said Ninik, as quoted by Antara

Ninik also praised Salim Said as a critical and persistent thinker who contributed significantly to developing Indonesian journalism. 

“His tenacity, intelligence and critical thinking took part in improving press freedom in Indonesia,” she said. 

We bid our final goodbye to you, Prof. Salim. You are our inspiration, always. (rp)