The Indonesian Justice and Human Rights Ministry issued the official naturalisation letter on 6 Dec 2010 officially making the 20-year-old Kim an Indonesian citizen.
“I’m proud that I’m finally an Indonesian citizen,” said the German-born footballer.
Kim’s father, Petrus Kurniawan, and grandfather, Kwee Hong Sing, are Indonesian citizens. Kwee played for Persija Jakarta and the Indonesia national team in the 1950s.
“I want to follow in my grandfather’s footsteps,” said Kim, who was born in Muehlacker, Germany.
Persema Malang coach Timo Scheuneman was responsible for bringing Kim to Indonesia when the East Java club signed him from amateur outfit FC 07 Heidelsheim, which plays in the sixth-tier league in Germany, before the start of this season.
Kim has yet to see action for Persema, however, as he did not meet Indonesian Super League regulations, which require foreign players from European leagues to have seen action in at least a third-tier competition.
Kim is a product of the National Team Body’s (BTN) naturalization program, which is also working on the citizenship papers of foreign-born Indonesian players like Segio van Dijk, Rapahel Maitimo and Jhnon van Beukering.
“He plays left wingback or the left flank position, so I think he will be an important player when tournaments next year like the SEA Games come along,” Scheuneman said.
“A naturalized player like him will not get an outright place on the team,” said Iman Arif, BTN deputy chairman. “Coach Alfred Riedl and I agree that Kim needs to fight for a roster spot. If the coach thinks he doesn’t meet the qualifications, he won’t be able to play for the team.”
The BTN plans to hold national try outs this week for selection to the under-23 squad where a total of 75 players are expected to be called up with the 25-man team to be announced on 15 Jan.
“I hope I can show my best skills in the selection, and I certainly hope the coach picks me for his final 25-man-squad,” added Kim.
The BTN has at least 20 international try outs lined up for the U23 team, which is scheduled to play their first overseas match on 23 Feb.