Indonesian President Jokowi visits former First Lady Ani Yudhoyono in Singapore hospital

Indonesian President Joko Widodo (centre), his wife Iriana Widodo (right) and Former Minister Hatta Rajasa arrive at the National University Hospital on Feb 21, 2019.
Indonesian President Joko Widodo (centre), his wife Iriana Widodo (right) and Former Minister Hatta Rajasa arrive at the National University Hospital on Feb 21, 2019.ST PHOTO: DESMOND FOO

SINGAPORE - Indonesian President Joko Widodo on Thursday (Feb 21) flew to Singapore to visit former first lady Ani Yudhoyono, who has been receiving treatment for blood cancer at the National University Hospital (NUH).

Mrs Yudhoyono, the wife of former president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, has been hospitalised in Singapore since Feb 2.

Mr Joko was accompanied on the visit by First Lady Iriana and their son Kaesang Pangarep, the Antara national news agency reported.

Mr Joko, who took over as Indonesia's president from Dr Yudhoyono, told reporters before leaving for Singapore that he had wanted to allocate special time to visit Mrs Yudhoyono and her husband, The Jakarta Post reported.

Dr Yudhoyono had served as Indonesia's president from 2004 to 2014.

Mr Joko was received at the hospital by the couple's eldest son, Mr Agus Harimurti and Mr Hatta Rajasa, a former minister and a father in-law to their younger son Edhie Baskoro.

"Let's pray together so that Ibu Ani Yudhoyono can be healed soon (and) be healthy so that she can return home," The Jakarta Post quoted Mr Joko as saying. The paper said he was to return to Jakarta later Thursday evening.

Dr Yudhoyono told a press conference in Singapore last week that his wife had been undergoing intensive medical care at NUH, the Jakarta Post reported.

Last week, it was reported that Dr Yudhoyono, who is the chairman of Indonesia’s Democratic Party, would not be participating in any campaign events ahead of the general election in April, so as to be by his wife’s side until her condition improves.

Mr Joko had previously deployed the presidential medical team to work with the Singapore doctors treating Mrs Yudhoyono.

Mrs Yudhoyono has been documenting her struggle dealing with the illness on Instagram. On Tuesday, she posted a photo of herself sitting in her hospital clothes together with her daughter-in-law Annisa Pohan, who is married to Mr Agus. "I am grateful for the blessings of Allah, second by second, minute by minute, hour after hour, day after day," she wrote in the post.

In another post, she wrote: "I can fight this cancer. With strong support from everyone in Indonesia and the world." " Thank you very much for your love and care," she said, as she thanked her husband and her family.