House accused of ‘closing its ears’ to protests against Omnibus Law

CNN Indonesia – July 16, 2020
Workers, farmers and students in Jakarta rally against Omnibus Law – July 16, 2020 (CNN)

Jakarta – Representatives of demonstrators who held a protest action against the Draft Omnibus Law on Job Creation said they were disappointed after meeting with leaders from the House of Representatives (DPR) at the parliamentary complex in Senayan, Central Jakarta, late on Thursday July 16.

Indonesian Trade Union Congress Alliance Confederation (KASBI) Chairperson Nining Elitos – who was one of the representatives – said that the DPR did not respond to their request that the House stop all deliberations on the draft law.

As a result, they said they were disappointed because it was as if the DPR is closing its ears to all of the protests against the Omnibus Law.

“When we were received by the [DPR] leadership today and had only just coordinated, of course we didn’t know, whether the DPR leadership through the media or written submissions, isn’t listening or is pretending not to hear this. That is what disappointed us”, Elitos told journalists at the parliamentary complex after meeting with the DPR leadership on Thursday evening.

The representatives of the protest action were received by DPR Deputy Speaker Sufmi Dasco Ahmad from the Greater Indonesia Movement Party (Gerindra).

Elitos asserted that workers reject any and all deliberations on the Omnibus Law, not just the provisions on labour which were recently postponed by the government and the DPR.

“We’re rather disappointed with the leadership and people’s representatives at the DPR where actually the [people’s] aspirations long before today, since January 13, we have been conveying our position to the DPR’s Baleg [Legislative Body]”, said Elitos.

Elitos stated that the Draft Omnibus Law – which was proposed by the government – was flawed in procedural terms and totally conflicts with the Indonesian constitution. She also said that the draft law abolishes the principles of protecting equality, prosperity and democracy.

They also raised questions about the deliberations on the law which they said were secretive, closed and did not involve public participation.

“Why are we protesting in the midst of Covid-19 [still holding an action], because we know that deliberations have been taking place on the Omnibus Law on Job Creation, because we the labour movement together with the ordinary people reject it in its entirety not just the sections on labour”, asserted Elitos.

The protesters opposing the Omnibus Law came from a number of different labour groups which are part of the Untied People’s Movement (Gebrak) and the National Association of University Student Executive Bodies (BEM SI).

Protest actions against the Omnibus law also took place today in the Central Java city of Yogyakarta and the East Java provincial capital of Surabaya.

Inside the DPR building meanwhile, the house held a plenary meeting. The meeting produced a list of 50 draft laws which will be included in the 2020 National Legislation Priority Program (Prolegnas) including the RUU HIP and the Omnibus Law on Job Creation. (mts/kid)

[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was “Massa Aksi Tolak Omnibus Law Kecewa DPR Tutup Telinga”.]