Widespread condemnation of House, government after Jobs Law decree enacted into law

CNN Indonesia – March 28, 2023
Workers rally in front of parliament building against Jobs Law Perppu – Undated (CNN)

Jakarta – The House of Representatives (DPR) ratified Government Regulation in Lieu of Law Number 2/2022 on the Jobs Law (Perppu Ciptaker) during a plenary meeting on Tuesday March 21.

Seven out of the nine political party factions in the DPR agreed with the ratification, while the Justice and Prosperity Party (PKS) and the Democrat Party strongly opposed it. Members of the PKS faction even walked out of the meeting.

The Jobs Law Perppu was issued by President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo in December 2022. Widodo issued the Perppu to replace the Omnibus Law on Job Creation that was declared conditionally unconstitutional by the Constitutional Court (MK) on November 25, 2021.

Not siding with the people

The Jakarta Legal Aid Foundation (LBH) believes that the DPR did not side with the ordinary people by enacting the Perppu Ciptaker into law.

"The Jakarta LBH is of the view that the DPR has confirmed its failure to support the voices of the ordinary people, particularly the working class", said LBH Jakarta Director Citra Referandum in a press release on Tuesday.

The LBH Jakarta is urging the DPR and president Widodo to put a stop to the practice of passing bad legislation that fails to accommodate meaningful public participation. They are also calling on Widodo to immediately revoke the Perppu Ciptaker.

"Because it represents an unconstitutional act that negates the object of MK ruling Number 91/PUU-XVIII/2020, fails to meet the objective requirements a compelling crisis and eliminated meaningful public participation", said Referandum.

Constitutional violation

Former Deputy Justice and Human Rights Minister (Wamenkumham) Denny Indrayana believes that the ratification of the Perppu Ciptaker violated the constitution.

Indrayana said that under Article 22 Paragraph 2 of the 1945 Constitution (UUD 1945) it clearly stipulates that a Perppu must be deliberated at the first DPR plenary meeting following its issuance.

According the Indrayana therefore, the DPR should have held a plenary meeting on February 16.

"Because the enactment was late. The requirement is that a Perppu is enacted at the [first] DPR sitting period after the Perppu was issued, which ended on February 16, 2023", Indrayana told CNN Indonesia on Tuesday.

Legal emergency

Confederation of the All-Indonesian Workers Union (KSPSI) Secretary General Arif Minardi believes that the government and the DPR which passed the Perppu Ciptaker into law have created a legal emergency for Indonesia.

According to Minardi, this clearly violates the constitution because it eliminates the object of Constitutional Court ruling Number 91/PUU-XVII/2020, which ordered the Jobs Law to be revised.

Minardi believes that the two year deadline given by the court to revise the law is enough to fix the law and hold a dialogue with different layers of society. The government however, instead issued a Perppu on the grounds that there was a compelling economic crisis.

"The president acted arbitrarily along with the DPR. The President of the Republic of Indonesia violated the UU 1945 Constitution, the DPR violated the UU 1945 Constitution. The president and the DPR's actions have created a legal emergency in Indonesia", said Minardi in front of the DPR building on Sunday March 26.

Damaging the people's trust

Fraternity of Indonesian Muslim Workers (PPMI) Central Leadership Chairperson Daeng Wahidin says that the government and DPR's enactment of the Perppu Ciptaker has done irreparable damage to the people's trust.

Wahidin also strongly criticised DPR Deputy Speaker Sufmi Dasco Ahmad who invited those who oppose the law to challenge it with the Constitutional Court. According to Wahidin, this will only result in a repeat of the court's 2021 ruling.

"How can those who are dissatisfied be told to report it to the MK. So then do you want the earlier MK decision that declared [the law conditionally] unconstitutional to be repeated again?", asked Wahidin.

Wahidin also asserted that the new Ciptaker Law that has only just been ratified already violates the constitution. He believes that many components in the law are formally flawed ranging from the preamble through to a number of articles.

"Bapak [Mr] Joko Widodo repent straight away by immediately revoking the Cilaka Law", said Wahidin using a popular term "Cilaka" meaning "disaster law".

A meme for Maharani

The University of Indonesia Student Executive Council (BEM UI) responded by uploading a meme on their official Twitter account with a picture of DPR Speaker Puan Maharani with a rat's body emerging from the DPR building.

The BEM UI made the meme as a symbol of their fight against the DPR after the Perppu Ciptaker was enacted into law. Not only that, BEM UI also dubbed the DPR as "The house, plunderers of the people".

"Like rats with a cunning character that launch various oligarchic endeavourers, it is increasingly apparent that the DPR truly does not side with the ordinary people. There are no longer any grounds for us to trust in the people's representatives. It's time to fight!", read a tweet on the Twitter account @BEMUI_Official.

Huge demonstrations

The BEM UI will also hold a national consolidation meeting on March 29 in order to discuss holding bigger actions opposing the enactment of the Perppu Ciptaker

"There will be even more massive opposition to the Job creation Law and we will start the consolidation meeting on March 29", said BEM UI Chairperson Melki Sedek Huang in front of the DPR building on Sunday.

Workers have also threatened to hold a national strike in July or August. Labour Party President Said Iqbal said the actions would be a form of resistance to the enactment of the Perppu Ciptaker.

"There is no reason for employers to prohibit it. If they prohibit it we will demand prison for the companies. So the national strike will be announced a month beforehand so that the companies can prepare. I haven't decided yet, we're planning for three to five days (the duration of the national strike)", asserted Said at a press conference on Friday March 24. (pop/fra)

[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was "Ramai-ramai Kecam Pengesahan Perppu Ciptaker Jadi UU".]

Source: https://www.cnnindonesia.com/nasional/20230327184707-20-930012/ramai-ramai-kecam-pengesahan-perppu-ciptaker-jadi-uu