Siauw Tiong Djin is the son of Siauw Giok Tjhan. He was nine years old when his father was arrested by General Soeharto in November 1965. Like millions of other children in Indonesia whose parents were purged during the New Order period (1965 to 1998), Tiong Djin grew up with the stigma that his father had committed treason. Between 1969 and 1973, while his father was in detention, Tiong Djin visited him frequently and they had long discussions about his father’s political journey and political aspirations. These discussions inspired Tiong Djin to restore his father’s name and reputation.
Tiong Djin has a Bachelor of Engineering (1979), Master of Engineering (1982) and Master of Business Administration (1990) from RMIT University. While working as an engineer he embarked on his PhD in Political Science at Monash University, completing it in 1999.