Drop Omnibus Law, don’t just postpone its deliberation: YLBHI

CNN Indonesia – April 29, 2020
Labour rally against Omnibus Law in front of Parliament – September 2019 (CNN)

Jakarta – Indonesian Legal Aid Foundation (YLBHI) Chairperson Asfinawati says that President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo’s decision to postpone the deliberations on the sections of the Draft Omnibus Law on Job Creation related to labour will not actually stop the all encompassing law from going ahead.

According to Asfinawati, Widodo should cancel all deliberations on the Omnibus Law because it is legally flawed and from the start has not involved civil society.

“We believe that the whole thing must be dropped. Because, first in terms of the [drafting] process it is legally flawed, no members of the public or those impacted upon [by the law] were involved when it was drafted by the government”, said Asfinawati when contacted by CNN Indonesia on Wednesday April 29.

Asfinawati says that Widodo and the House of Representatives’ (DPR) postponement of the cluster of labour related regulations was only done to prevent planned worker demonstrations on April 30.

According to Asfinawati, Widodo made a similar kind of decision in September last year when he postponed the deliberations on a number of controversial draft laws in order to contain the massive protest actions driven by students.

“Actually there’s absolutely no difference in the substance. It will still be deliberated, it was really just to prevent the action on the 30th”, she said.

Asfinawati said that this suspicion has been strengthened by the recent arrest of activists in Jakarta and the East Java city of Malang. Likewise with the statements by law enforcement officials who claimed that there would be riots on April 30.

According to Asfinawati, right from the start civil society was not involved in the drafting of the law which regulates many things from labour, investment, business permits and the environment. Civil society was only able to take part just before the draft law was handed over to the DPR for deliberation.

Asfinawati said that the YLBHI has still not been invited to take part in discussions on the Omnibus Law at the DPR. Although if they are invited later, she has decided to refuse to take part in the discussions.

“Because this is part of another trick. We don’t want it to be discussed [at all], meanwhile this is a substantial discussion. What’s the point in going? We’ll just issue a statement”, she said.

Earlier, President Widodo announced a postponement of the deliberations of the cluster of labour related regulations in the Omnibus Law. The decision was taken after Widodo met with the leaders of three trade unions at the Presidential Palace which are part of the Indonesian Labour Council (MPBI).

Despite this, deliberations on the law have continued at the DPR’s Legislation Body because from the start the DPR and the government agreed to discuss the labour related articles at the end.

The MPBI, which had early said it would take to the streets to protest the law, has decided to postpone the mass action on April 30 after Widodo decided on the postponement. (dhf/fra)

[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was “YLBHI: Batalkan RUU Ciptaker, Jangan Hanya Tunda Pembahasan”.]

Source: https://www.cnnindonesia.com/nasional/20200429094903-20-498326/ylbhi-batalkan-ruu-ciptaker-jangan-hanya-tunda-pembahasan