Hundreds of students, workers, and artists who joined together as part of the People’s Movement Alliance gathered on Monday to hold a “big meeting” on the street to stop the controversial job creation law from being considered.
“We are here as a people’s parliament to announce our motion of no confidence against the House of Representatives because they do not represent the interests of people who reject it [job creation omnibus bill]”Alliance spokesman Syahdan said on Monday.
The collective job creation law would change 73 laws and consists of 15 chapters and 174 articles
The demonstrators gathered on Jl. Gejayan, a historic street where many protests have taken place. The youngest was the Gejayan Calling Movement or #GejayanMemanggilwhere thousands of people protested the revision of the Anti-Corruption Commission Law and the Criminal Code.
They set up a stage, played music and took turns to make speeches. Despite the rain that began to fall, the demonstrators remained with banners with messages such as “Stop the Collective Law” related to the Job Creation Act and “Investment regime: it only recognizes people during the elections”.
Workers, students and activists claim that the collective job creation law will harm democracy, the environment and the interests of workers.
“If the government in Yogyakarta and other areas doesn’t listen to people’s voices, we will come to Jakarta,” continued Syahdan.
Secretary of the Federation of Independent Trade Unions in Yogyakarta and Central Java, Ali Prasetyo, said Monday that workers have rejected the job creation law because it has loosened restrictions on outsourcing significantly. He said the regulation would make employees “contract workers all their lives”.
He also rejected the article, which allowed provincial governors to create their own wording for calculating the minimum wage.
The job creation law has also been criticized by students at Gadjah Mada University (UGM) in Yogyakarta. In a discussion last month, legal experts concluded that the process of drafting the bill was “not transparent”. They indicated that the content of the invoice did not reflect the justification for the invoice.
“Illegal taxes and bureaucracy are common in Indonesia. Although we have good regulations, in reality they shouldn’t be able to be implemented. Don’t think investors will come because the government streamlines regulations, ”said Maria S.W. Sumardjono from the UGM School of Law on February 13th.
She said the Omnibus Job Creation Act could only give empty promises to investors because they really had to deal with the rules for natural resources. She said there are at least 26 natural resource regulations that need to be ironed out.
“Investors could come here and get a location permit, but it will be revoked later because of an indigenous community claiming the land,” she continued.
She said the job creation law could violate aboriginal rights.
Another legal expert, Zainal Arifin Mochtar, said he found problems in the academic document of the bill. He said people’s participation was essential in drafting such a bill that revised over 70 bills. “It has to come from social analysis,” he said.
He said the bill appeared to prioritize the economic and investment agenda, while in the past, during the New Order, focus on the economy and investment ultimately harmed the environment and human rights.
He also criticized the process by which the government only spoke to business people when drafting the bill. “We should better reject this bill because in-house consultations can only be influenced by power,” he said.