“Those were such busy news years in Indonesia and there were so many times when I absolutely could not have done my job without Ali,” said former AP Jakarta Bureau Chief Robin McDowell. “If there was an earthquake, plane crash, terrorist attack, ferry sinking anywhere in Indonesia, at any time, Ali knew who to call and got the confirmation.”
Margie Mason, another former bureau chief, said Kotarumalos “was always on top of breaking news, often waking up to disaster alerts on his phone and filing earthquake stories in the middle of the night to put AP ahead of the competition. He was also a very kind man, and everybody loved him. He will be greatly missed.”
Kotarumalos retired in 2019 after 37 years with AP.
He is survived by his wife, two daughters, one son and two grandchildren.