Holiyah “Lia” Soetoro Sobah (Source: We the People of the United States)
A previously unknown stepsister of Barack Obama died unexpectedly earlier this year.
Internet researchers made the link between the president and his previously undisclosed stepsister, Holiyah “Lia” Soetoro Sobah, after translating from obituaries published in Indonesia. She died Feb. 26.
The obituaries identified Lia as having been adopted by Lolo Soetoro, Obama’s stepfather, and Ann Dunham Obama Soetoro, the president’s mother.
The surfacing of Lia as an adopted child of Lolo Soetoro and Dunham raises the question of whether Barack Obama himself might have been adopted officially as Lolo Soetoro’s stepson while in Indonesia from 1967 to 1971.
Even though Obama makes no mention in “Dreams from My Father” of having had an Indonesian stepsister, the Indonesian obituaries make clear that Obama slept in the same room as his stepsister while the two of them grew up together in the Soetoro home in Jakarta.
According to the Indonesian obituaries, Barry Soetoro and Lia Soetoro were always together, playing, traveling on family vacations and even bathing.
Obama was in Indonesia from ages 6 to 10.
There is nothing on the public record to indicate that he sent any condolences or even acknowledged the death of his stepsister in February.
The Indonesian obituaries also state that Lia was born in 1957 and that she had three children with her husband, Edi Sobah, with whom she lived in West Java, Indonesia.
A photograph of Lia shows her holding a monkey doll and wearing clothes given her by Madelyn Dunham, Obama’s maternal grandmother, when Lia visited Hawaii for three months. The visit apparently was in 1971, the year Obama left Indonesia permanently.
Obama also does not discuss in his autobiography “Dreams from My Father” any visits to Hawaii after he left Indonesia permanently in 1971 that were made by Lolo Soetoro or a Soetoro stepsister from Indonesia.
While Obama has not acknowledged having had a stepsister in Indonesia, he discussed at length in his autobiography his half-sister, Maya Soetoro-Ng, who was born in Indonesia to Lolo Soetoro and Ann Dunham on Aug. 15, 1970.
WND has reported that in a passport amendment submitted Aug. 13, 1968, Obama’s mother identified her son with an Indonesian surname as Barack Obama II Soebarkah, and asked the State Department to drop him from her U.S. passport.
The transaction could have been part of an effort by Dunham to obtain Indonesian citizenship for her son.
WND also reported in August 2008 that the Associated Press published a photograph purportedly of Obama’s registration card at Indonesia’s Francis Assisi school. The card showed he was enrolled as “Barry Soetoro” and listed as an Indonesian citizen whose official religious identification was Muslim. An AP spokesman affirmed to WND that the photograph was authentic.