Joop Ave, Indonesia’s former Minister of Tourism and Telecommunications, passed away at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday in Singapore from complications due to various illnesses. He was 79.

His body will be flown to Indonesia on Thursday and will be cremated in Bali.

Tourism ministry spokesman Noviendi Makalam said Joop passed away at Mount Elizabeth Hospital in Singapore.

“According to the plan, he will be taken to Denpasar, Bali, on Thursday morning to be cremated on Saturday, Feb. 8,” Noviendi said.

The Yogyakarta-born former minister helped promote Indonesian tourism at the international level in the 1990s, Noviendi said.

Joop served as the minister from 1993 to 1998 under former president Suharto.

“We all feel saddened by the loss of Joop Ave, the father who made Indonesian tourism as big as it is today,” Noviendi said.

“Ibu Mari Pangestu [the current tourism minister] will fly to Bali and attend the cremation ceremony on Friday,” he added.

He served as Head of the Household of the Presidential Palace from 1972 to 1978.

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