Defense Minister Prabowo claims ‘foreign forces’ behind Omnibus Law demos

Source – October 13, 2020
Prabowo speaking at Gerindra’s 12th anniversary in Jakarta – February 6, 2020 (Antara)

Haryanti Puspa Sari, Jakarta – Defense Minister and Greater Indonesia Movement Party (Gerindra) Chairperson Prabowo Subianto says that many of the protesters involved in actions opposing the recently enacted Omnibus Law on Job Creation over the last few days have yet to actually read the law and have influenced by hoaxes.

Prabowo made the remark during a special interview released by the Gerindra Party leadership board on Monday October 12.

“Right now, those who demonstrated yesterday have yet to read the Omnibus Law, and there have been many hoaxes. Many hoaxes, all over the place, as if this doesn’t exist [in the law], that doesn’t exist, it’s lacking this”, said Prabowo.

Prabowo said that the many hoaxes which are circulating are a sign that there are parties who are trying to create disorder. He is convinced that there are foreign forces who do not want Indonesia to be modern and safe.

“So, yes. Sometime leading figures in our country think they’re right, they’re sure they’re right, but then they do something and they aren’t aware that it’s actually a manipulation by someone else”, he said.

Prabowo said that in relation to the Omnibus Law deliberations in parliament, Gerindra was the one that most strongly defended workers’ interests. According to Prabowo, 80 percent of trade union demands have been accommodated in the Omnibus Law.

“Yes we weren’t able to [accommodate] 100 percent, that's was you call a political state, sometimes we have to understand that we must, sometimes there are other needs [which must be accommodated], there are necessities, yes, we need investment from everywhere”, he said.

Based on this, Prabowo is asking the trade unions not to be emotional and quick to hold protest actions which end in vandalism and damage to public facilities.

“If public facilities are burnt down, they’ll have to be rebuilt with the ordinary people’s money right, things for the benefit of the ordinary people are being torched”, he said.

Multiple versions

A new polemic meanwhile has surfaced over the Omnibus Law because neither the government nor the House of Representatives (DPR) presented a final draft of the law before it was finally enacted during a DPR plenary meeting.

There are several versions of the law circulating. initially obtained a 905 page version of the law from the DPR Legislative Body (Baleg) leadership, several hours before it was enacted on Monday October 5.

Then a 1,028 page version surfaced, a 1,035 page version and finally a 812 page version. The DPR’s general secretary has yet to confirm which of these is the final draft.

The director of the Andalas University Faculty of Law Constitutional Studies Centre, Feri Amsari, is of the view that the government and the DPR are in fact the source of all the misinformation about the Omnibus Law.

“The president and the DPR are the source of the hoaxes and this misinformation. It is they who are the cause of it all”, said Amsari on Monday.

[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was “Tanggapi Aksi Tolak UU Cipta Kerja, Prabowo: Banyak yang Belum Baca dan Ada Hoaks”.]