Enrollment documents viewed by TheBlaze confirm that a young Barack Obama was listed as an Indonesian citizen and a Muslim on school registration in the 1960s. And while the document has been reported on before, albeit lightly, TheBlaze has compiled the most complete view thus far of the document and the circumstances surrounding it – including an interview with the president’s first-ever principal while he was in Indonesia.
TheBlaze repeatedly photographed the document in the office of the current headmaster of Santo Fransiskus Assisis, a Catholic school that Obama attended from January 1968 to December 1970 in Jakarta. The record shows that Obama (or his parents) – at least for the period of his life – claimed to be an Indonesian citizen, that he took the last name Soetoro (the last name of his step-father, Lolo), that his religion was listed as Islam, and that he was born in Honolulu.
While Obama’s time at Santo Fransiskus is important (and we’ll explore it in more detail shortly), it’s just as crucial to fastforward to when Obama left the school.
According to records at Santo Fransiskus Assisis, Obama left after 1970 because his family moved. That move was due to Lolo leaving Dinas Topografi, a mapmaking survey company that contracted with the Indonesian army—which is listed in the document we viewed—to join Union Oil where he became a well-connected government liaison officer.
That job came with perks, among them access to some of the best schools for young Barry Soetoro. That’s evident by the young Obama attending Besuki School, one of the three best public schools in Indonesia, after leaving St. Fransiskus. Besuki School is the sort of place the connected send their children when they are not already sending them to the pricy international school. (This is an important detail because once Obama’s mother, Ann Dunham, got a job working for the Ford Foundation in 1980, and after she had divorced Lolo Soetoro, she began sending her daughter, Maya, to Jakarta International School.)
In a taped interview in Indonesian and subsequent email with Akhmad Solikhin, Besuki’s current principal, he told my Indonesian translator and me that, other than Obama, there has only been one non-Indonesian at the school—a Dutch student. That’s not surprising considering Besuki School, founded in 1934, was formerly Carpentier Alting Stichting Nassau School — a school run and controlled by the Dutch for the Dutch colonialists and the Indonesian elite. In 1962 — before Obama attended in 1970 — it was taken over by the Indonesian government. Besuki was then and is now a prestigious place where potential students sit on waitlists. In fact, in 2007 Besuki began using a mandatory admissions test to try and cut down on the number of Indonesian children trying to get in.
Why is this all important? Because given that history, it doesn’t seem likely that the school would have wasted one of their prized seats on a student not claiming to be Indonesian, especially when it was the sort of place that educated the children of government officials and the well-to-do.