Government urged to stop Omnibus Law deliberations, focus on corona

CNN Indonesia – March 18, 2020
Labour rally against Omnibus Law in Jakarta – Undated (CNN)

Jakarta – The Confederation of United Indonesian Workers (KPBI) is urging the House of Representatives (DPR) and the government to halt deliberations on Draft Omnibus Law on Job Creation given the corona virus pandemic (Covid-19). If the deliberations go ahead it will be the same as provoking people take to the streets to oppose it.

“The DPR must halt the Omnibus Law deliberations because if it is continued then it will mean provoking the ordinary people into taking to the streets, and that means endangering people’s health”, said KPBI Deputy Chairperson Jumisih in a written release on Wednesday March 18.

Jumisih believes that the government needs to focus on dealing with Covid-19, in particular providing hospitals for the ordinary people who are having difficulties getting tested, either because of a lack of access or cost factors.

The provision of health equipment, treatment rooms for patients who test positive to corona and other issues need more attention. This is especially so because so far the regions are still dependent on the Health Ministry in Jakarta to deal with the corona virus.

Jumisih also asked the government to provide hand sanitizers and masks which are already in short supply in markets. All of this is needed to contain the spread of the corona virus around the country.

“And arrest hoarders who reap profits in the midst of a disaster”, she said.

The KPBI had initially planned to hold a protest action against the Omnibus Law on March 23. The action is threatened with being cancelled because the government has appealed to the public to minimise activities outside the home.

Earlier, the government announced that 227 people have tested positive to corona virus. Nineteen have died and eleven have been declared cured.

On Monday March 16, a group of workers held a protest action at the Sate Building in the West Java provincial capital of Bandung. They went ahead with the demonstration despite the corona virus spreading across Indonesia.

For them, the Draft Omnibus Law is more dangerous than Covid-19 so they went ahead with the action in front of the office of West Java Governor Ridwan Kamil. (mln/bmw)

[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was “Buruh Desak DPR-Pemerintah Setop Omnibus Law, Fokus Corona”.]