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Mohammad Hatta or often called Bung Hatta was the first Vice President of Indonesia.
Mohammad Hatta was born in Bukit tinggi, West Sumatera on August 12th, 1902. His father
is Haji Mohammad Djamil and his mother is Siti Saleha. His father died when he was eight
months old. Hatta married to Rahmi Hatta on November 18th, 1945. The couple had three
children named Meutia Farida Hatta, Gemala Rabi’ah Hatta, and Halida Nuriah Hatta.

Hatta started his education at a private school named Sekolah Melayu. Then he went to ELS
(European Language School). He continued his school to MULO (Meer Uitgebreid Lager
Onderwijs). Hatta began to show his interested in politics and national movement since he
was sixteen years old. He joined Jong Sumatranen Bond and he was chosen as the treasurer.

In 1919, Hatta went to Hogere Burgerschool (HBS) in Batavia (Jakarta). He finished his
study with distinction in 1921 and he was allowed to continue his study to Rotterdam School
of Commerce in Netherlands. He took economics as his major and got a doctorandus degree.
He then continued to pursue his doctorate degree, but he didn’t finish his thesis because
politics had taken over his life.

In Netherlands Hatta joined the Indische Vereeniging. In 1922, Indische Vereeniging

changed its named to Indonesische Vereeniging (Perhimpoenan Indonesia). Hatta was the
treasurer from 1922-1925 and then he became the chairman from 1926-1930. Perhimpoenan
Indonesia then changed from a student organization to political organization that demand for
Indonesia’s Independence. It expressed its voice through a magazine called Indonesia
Merdeka of which Hatta was the editor.

Hatta attended congresses all over Europe to gain more support from other nations, he always
as the chairman of Indonesia delegation. By the middle of 1927, Perhimpoenan Indonesia’s
activites had alarmed the Dutch authorities. On June 1927, Dutch authorities put Hatta and
four other Indonesian activists in jail. In 1929, Hatta and other Perhimpoenan Indonesia
activists were released.

On August 1932, after returning to Indonesia, Hatta became the chairman of the new PNI. On
February 1934, the Dutch Colonial government arrested PNI leaders from its Jakarta branch
(including Hatta) and Bandung branch. They were prisoned for a year. In 1935, it was
decided that Hatta and the other PNI leaders would be exiled to Boven Digoel Papua. In
1936, Hatta and Sutan Syahrir were transfered to Bandaneira in Maluku. There, they joined
other nationalists such as Iwa Kusumasumantri and Dr. Cipto Mangunkusumo.

In 1942, Hatta and Syahrir were transferred to Sukabumi, West Java. In the same year, the
Dutch Colonial Government surrendered. However, because of World War II was under way,
the Empire of Japan came to Indonesia to fulfil their imperial ambitions in East Asia and
South East Asia. On March 1942, Hatta and Syahrir were transferred to Jakarta.

In July 1942, Hatta was reunited with Sukarno. In a secret meeting at Hatta’s Jakarta home,
Sukarno, Hatta and Syahrir agreed to organise the revolutionary resistance to achieve
independence from Japan. In a speech on December 1942, Hatta said that Indonesia already
free from the Dutch Colonial Government, but Indonesia was free only to be colonized by
another power, he would rather to see Indonesia drown to the bottom of the ocean.

As the tide of the war began to turn against the Japanese, the Japanese Occupational
government in Indonesia began to lose its control of Indonesia. On August 1945, Japanese
finally approved Indonesian Independence. August 16th, 1945, the Indonesian youths
kidnapped Sukarno and Hatta to Rengasdengklok to force both of them to declare
Independence of Indonesia.

Finally, August 17th, 1945, at Sukarno’s residence, Indonesia’s Independence was

proclaimed in a short statement on a paper signed by Sukarno and Hatta. On August 18th,
1945 Hatta was selected as Indonesia’s first Vice President to accompany Sukarno as the
President of Indonesia. Hatta died on March 14th, 1980 and he was buried in Tanah Kusir
public cemetary, Jakarta.