Barack Hussein Obama the Senator from Illinois has formed an exploratory committee to explore a presidential bid. Obama has had a remarkable rise from lawmaker to politician in less than ten years appearing suddenly onto the political scene.
New on the scene, Obama remains a charismatic man of mystery, very little is known on him. His only remaining relative seems to be his half-sister Maya Kassandra Soetoro or as she is known now Maya Soetoro-Ng.
What is particulary intriguing though for many is that Obama has not been seen to have been forthcoming with his past with regards to the time he spent in Indonesia.
Either he wishes to forget his past or perhaps he has something to hide.
In any event, I have now spent over twenty years of my life here in Southeast Asia, am well versed with the culture and speak the language. With regards to Obama's Indonesian past, I now find myself intrigued to find out more about Obama and his life in Indonesia.
The House on Dempo Street Vanishes
Jakarta - More on the US story of the senator, Barack Obama, in Indonesia.
During this short period of time, Barack was believed to have lived in a house on Dempo Street near Amir Hamzah Park and the city center of Jakarta. However, currently the occupants of the house and the residents in this area have never heard of either Barack or Barry.
Tracking down the past of US senator in Indonesia is quite difficult, The only quite strong information detikcom was able to obtain was from a Onny Padmo, Barry's classmate in class 4 of Besuki primary school, Menteng, Jakarta near the city center around 1971.
Onny admitted to attending Barry's birthday party at his house at that time. Barry's house was supposedly on Dempo Street near Amir Hamzah Park. But, Onny didn't quite seem to remember the exact address. As you know, that was over 35 years ago.
Detikcom investigated the area, on Monday (3/7/2006). However, several residents who have lived in this area for quite a long time had never heard of the Barack name or Barry. They had also never heard of the Lolo Soetoro name, Ann Dunham, or Maya Kassandra Soetoro.
Lolo Soetoro was the husband of Ann and the stepfather of Barry. Ann was a US citizen and the mother of Barry. Whereas Maya was the stepbrother of Barry, the child of Ann and Lolo.
In fact, Barry together with his mother and his stepfather lived in Indonesia for quite a long time. Apparently Barry went to Primary School here for only one year in Primary 4, but the information from Maya Soetoro is that Barry had lived in Indonesia between the years of 1968-1973.
However, the exact location of Barry's house for 5 years remains unclear.
The only thing that is certain, according to Onny, is that "Barry" lived on Dempo Street.
"I had previously attended Barry's birthday party in the house, not far from Amir Hamzah Park", said Onny, Barry's school friend during 1971. It wasn't far from Amir Hamzah Park, said Onny, Barry's school friend from 1971. At the time, Dempo Street was still be worked on.
It was just off Amir Hamzah Park although not right in front. The road closer to the mosque at that time was quite famous.
One of the residents who had lived a long time in the Amir Hamzah Park area, Ari (aged 55), when being questioned by detikcom claimed to have never heard of a Barack, Obama or Barry. He had also never heard of a person named Lolo Soetoro.
"As I remember in the 1960's many Dutch lived near this area." If there was a Negroid child, I would have known, said Ari. Apart from Dutch though, in this area there also lived many decendents of the Dutch Ambonese.
Haji Mamiati, who had lived in the area since the 1950's also admitted to not knowing of an Ann Dunham, Lolo Soetoro or Barry.
He claimed that in the Amir Hamzah Park area, during the 1960's there were many foreigners.
Mamiati claimed thought that he had indeed seen a black negro child who had curly hair that live in No. 2 Dempo Street sometime around the 1970's.
However, he said the negroid child was claimed to have been from Papua.
"Indeed there was a negroid child, but they claimed that the child was from Irian." said Mamiati.
Could it be, that the negroid child mentioned by Mamiati was in fact "Barry"?
It is diffucult to say, the house on No. 2 Dempo Street existed only during the time of the Dutch. Now the place where the house supposedly stood houses a dentist and there are many other new houses in the area - Dempo has changed over the years.