Students see Omnibus Law as neo-Orba, authoritarian and repressive: Survey

Detik News – March 1, 2020
Student protest in Makassar, banner reads ‘Oligarchy Regime’ – Undated (Detik)

Andi Saputra, Jakarta – The Lokataru Foundation conducted a survey of students on their attitudes towards the policies of President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo on the Draft Omnibus Law on Job Creation. The majority of respondents stated that they did not agree with the Omnibus Law because it is neo-New Order (Orba), authoritarian and repressive.

Under the draft law, 73 laws will be revised comprising 15 chapters and 174 articles. Along with the Draft Omnibus Law on Taxation, the two draft laws are made up of 11 clusters:

1. Simplifying business
2. Investment requirements
3. Labour
4. Facilitating, empowering and protecting small- and medium-sized enterprises
5. Easing business
6. Supporting research and innovation
7. Government administration
8. Imposition of sanctions
9. Control of land
10. Facilitating government projects
11. Special economic zones

The government hopes that the Omnibus Law on Job Creation will jack up economic growth.

The Lokataru survey was conducted between February 27 and February 29 and involved 194 students throughout Indonesia. Although after re-verification, 14 respondents were found to be invalid so only 180 people were recorded as filling out the survey.

The survey questioned 142 men and the remaining respondents were women. 93 percent of respondents said they had heard about the Draft Omnibus Law on Job Creation with the majority saying they obtained the information from the print media (58 percent).

Some 55 percent said they did not know that only employers and business were invited to discuss the draft law by the government.

One of the questions was how do students view President Widodo’s policies which have involved the State Intelligence Agency (BIN) and Indonesian Police (BIN) in approaching social organisation which do not agree with the Draft Omnibus Law on Job Creation.

The responses were quite flabbergasting. The following are the responses from students based on the survey taken from the Lokataru website on Sunday March 1.

1. Neo-New Order (referring to the Suharto New Order regime)
2. Authoritarian
3. Repressive
4. Intimidating
5. Gagging [critics]
6. Damages democracy
7. Dirty methods
8. Sides with investors

“Our survey did not in any way discuss the contents and or materials in the Draft Omnibus Law on Job Creation other then testing basic knowledge related to the draft law. We intended to investigate whether students were reasonably familiar with the ‘Omnibus Law’ which represents a new legal term in this country. Moreover we consider the views of student groups to be important, particularly their views in relation to the involvement of civil society in the drafting of the draft law”, read a Lokataru release. (asp/zul)

[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was “Survei Lokataru: Mahasiswa Nilai Omnibus Law Neo-Orba, Otoriter, dan Represif”.]