Frans Kaisiepo

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Frans Kaisiepo
Frans Kaisiepo 1999 Indonesia stamp.jpg
Frans Kaisiepo as depicted in a 1999 stamp
4th Governor of Papua
In office
President Soekarno
Preceded by Elias Jan Bonai
Succeeded by Acub Zaenal
Personal details
Born Frans Kaisiepo
(1921-10-10)10 October 1921
Netherlands Biak, Papua, Dutch East Indies
Died 10 April 1979(1979-04-10) (aged 57)
Indonesia Jayapura, Papua, Indonesia
Nationality Indonesia Indonesia
Spouse(s) Anthomina Arwam
Maria Magdalena Moorwahyuni
Occupation National Hero of Indonesia
Religion Protestantism

Frans Kaisiepo (10 October 1921 – 10 April 1979) was the fourth Governor of the Papua Province and a National Hero of Indonesia (Gelar Pahlawan Nasional Indonesia).

As the representative of Papua, he was involved in the Malino Conference (16 – 25 July 1946), where the formation of the Republic of Indonesia was discussed. He proposed the name Irian, which came from the Biak language.

Early life[edit]

Kaisiepo was born in Wardo on the island of Biak on 10 October 1921. He was educated at Sekolah Rakyat (Primary School) 1928–1931; LVVS Korido 1931–1934; Sekolah Guru Normalis at Manokwari 1934–1936; Bestuur Course, March – August 1945; and Bestuur School / Pamong Praja 1952–1954

World War 2 and fascination with Indonesian independence[edit]

The Japanese occupation of Indonesia during World War II resulted in the Dutch government lacking personnel in New Guinea. In order to satisfy this deficiency, in 1944, Resident J.P. van Eechoud established the Police Training School and the School of Civil Service (betuurschool) in Hollandia (present-day Jayapura). Eechoud is often called "Vader der Papoea’s" (father of the Papuans). That school had taught 400 people between the year 1944 – 1949, producing the most intellectual Irians that were involved in the battle.

The Indonesian declaration of independence on 17 August 1945 also affected many young learned men, among them Silas Papare, Albert Karubuy, and Marthen Indey. In 1946 in Serui, Silas Papare and a couple of his followers established a political pro-Indonesia organization called the Partai Kemerdekaan Indonesia Irian (PKII), or the Irian Indonesian Independence Party. On 14 August 1945 in Kampung Harapan Jayapura, Indonesia Raya Song was reveberated by Frans Kaisiepo, Marcus Kaisiepo, Nicolaas Jouwe and his friends. On 31 August, they held a ceremony where they hoisted the Indonesian flag and sang Indonesia Raya (Indonesia’s national anthem) followed by figures of Indonesian Committee of freedom such as : Frans Kaisiepo, Marcus Kaisiepo, Corinus Krey and M. Youwe. On 10th Juli 1946 in Biak Party Of Freedom of Indonesia (Partai Indonesia Merdeka) was founded with Lukas Rumkoren as the leader. One of the founders was Frans kaisiepo who at the time was the chief of Warsa District, North Biak.

In 1945 when he attended the Civil Administration Brief course in Hollandia, he befriended Sugoro Atmoprasodjo, from which his interest and support for Indonesian nationalism blossomed. Kaisiepo often held discreet meetings with Sugoro and his other friends to discuss the unification of the Netherlands New Guinea to Republic of Indonesia. Frans Kaisiepo disagreed with the name plate of Course/School that he attended written Papua Bestuur School. He ordered Frans's sibling Markus Kaisiepo,, to change the name Papua Bestuurschool into Irian Bestuurschool.

In July 1946, Kaisiepo was a member of the Malino Conference Delegation in South Sulawesi headed by Dr. H.J. van Mook, being the only native Papuan that attended the Conference. As a speaker, he suggested that the name Papua should be changed into Irian (supporting the Republic of Indonesia anti-Netherland). The people said Irian was taken from his native Biak language meaning hot area.

On 17 August 1947 Silas Papare led the raising of the Indonesian red and white flag to commemorate Indonesia’s Independence Day, accompanied by Johans Ariks, Albert Karubuy, Lodewijk, Barent Mandatjan, Samuel Damianus Kawab and Joseph Djohari. This action resulted in the arrest of all the participants by the Dutch police for more than three months, in which Frans Kaisiepo and Johans Ariks took on Papare's role. Ariks later learned of the plans to integrate West Irian as a territory of Indonesia instead of fostering its own autonomy.

The idea of Indonesian Independence grew among students coming from all districts. Therefore, the students of the school often held discreet meetings that opposed the Dutch occupation and planned to join Indonesia. The students consequently formed a committee under the leadership of Sugoro Atmoprasojo, with members such as Frans Kaisiepo, Marthen Indey, and Silas Papare, G Saweri, SD Kawab and others.

Frans Kaisiepo was one of members of Delegation that opposed the establishment of the State of East Indonesia, as the planned entity did not include Irian Jaya. Based on this reference, Frans proposed that Irian Jaya join North Sulawesi as one unified administrative region.

Kaisiepo was also involved in a rebellion that broke out in Biak protesting against the Dutch government in March 1948.

In 1949 he rejected appointment as the delegate leader of Netherlands New Guinea in the Dutch-Indonesian Round Table Conference, because he did not want to be dictated to by the Dutch government. As a result, Frans was arrested from 1954 to 1961.

Political career[edit]

In 1961, he established Irian Political Party that strived to reunite the Netherlands New Guinea with the Republic of Indonesia. To envisage the decolonization of the Netherland Government, President Soekarno made a speech on the Trikora (Tri Komando Rakyat, "People’s Triple Command") on 19 December 1961 in Yogyakarta. The commands included:[1]

  • aborting the formation of the ‘Papua state’ as created by colonial Dutch powers,
  • raising the Indonesian flag in West Irian, thus affirming Indonesian sovereignty in the area, and;
  • preparing mobilization to "defend the independence and unification of motherland".

Many volunteers were sent to aid the Irian combatants. Frans Kaisiepo often protected these combatants who would silently infiltrate West Irian.

Due to the Trikora Act, the Netherlands Government was forced to sign an agreement known as the New York Agreement on 15 August 1962 12:01 hours. The transfer of government administration to UNTEA occurred on 1 October 1962. The transfer of West Irian to Indonesia was conducted by the United Nations the following year on 1 May 1963. Meanwhile, the Indonesian government would be entrusted to develop the region from 1963 to 1969, where at the end of that year the Papuans would have to decide whether or not to join Indonesia or remain autonomous.

The first governor of Irian was Elieser Jon Bonay who held the office for less than a year (1963–1964). In the beginning, Bonay sided with the Indonesians. However, in 1964, he urged the Act of Free Choice in Irian Jaya for the independence of West Irian; this request was forwarded to the United Nations. His action caused him to resign from his post in 1964, where Frans Kaisiepo replaced him. His resignation without a replacement position disappointed Bonay and propelled him to join the Free Papua Movement operating in-exile in the Netherlands, becoming one of its prominent figures in the process.

Frans Kaisiepo, as governor and one of activator from Irian Jaya Big Discussion strived to archive the Act of Free Choice, as it coincided with his original vision. Finally, it was won, meaning that Irian Jaya was reunited with Republic of Indonesian in 1969. In 1972, Frans Kaisiepo was appointed member of Republic Indonesia’s People’s Consultative Council / MPR RI and during 1973 – 1979, he was appointed member of Republic Indonesian’s Leadership of Supreme Judgement / DPA RI.

Kaisiepo died on 10 April 1979. His remains were buried in the Taman Makam Pahlawan Cendrawasih (Cendrawasih Heroes Burial Site) in Biak. Due to his meritorious service, Frans Kaisiepo was awarded the Trikora and the Act of Free Choice merit by the Indonesian government. Inside Frans Kaisiepo, there was the will to firmly maintain the unification of the nation.

Personal life[edit]

He married Anthomina Arwam and had 3 children together until her death. On 12 November 1973, he married Maria Magdalena Moorwahyuni from Demak, Central Java, from which they have one child.

Honours and legacy[edit]

The Rp10,000 banknote depicting Frans Kaisiepo

In 1993 Frans Kaisiepo was honored as a National Hero of Indonesia based on resolution letter number 077/TK/1993 from the President of Republic of Indonesia with carter and Maha Putera Adi Pradana Medal 2nd Class.[2] He is also the namesake of the local airport serving Biak, known as the Frans Kaisiepo International Airport.

Frans is also among the historical figures chosen to be depicted in the recent 2016 edition of Indonesian rupiah banknotes, particularly the Rp10,000 valued note. [3]


  1. ^ Singh, Bilveer (2008). Papua: geopolitics and the quest for nationhood. Transaction Publishers. p. 26. ISBN 978-1-4128-1206-1. 
  2. ^ "Daftar Nama Pahlawan Nasional Republik Indonesia (2)" [List of Names of National Heroes of the Republic of Indonesia (2)]. Awards of the Republic of Indonesia (in Indonesian). Indonesian State Secretariat. Archived from the original on 17 February 2013. Retrieved 17 February 2013. 
  3. ^ "BI to Issue New Print Banknotes, Mint Coins with Heroes Images". Cabinet Secretariat of the Republic of Indonesia. Retrieved 28 December 2016.