Irfan Kamil, Jakarta – The results of a Kompas research and development (Litbang) survey show that the majority of respondents or as many as 89.3 percent admit to not to knowing that there is a plan to enact a new Draft Criminal Code (RKUHP).
The poll, which was organised in later June, found that only 10.7 percent of respondents know about the plan.
"Put simply, out of 10 people, maybe only one person knows about the planned enactment of the RKUHP", said Litbang Kompas researcher Rangga Eka Sakti as quoted by the Kompas Daily on Monday July 11.
Sakti said that the latest draft of the RKUHP, which the government has only just handed over to the House of Representatives (DPR), appears to be proceeding down a dark alley far from public reach.
According to Sakti, the public's right to speak about and be involved in the formulation of the RKUHP needs serious reconsideration.
Yet the DPR's Commission III and the government originally set a target of enacting the law before the end of the DPR's current sitting period which ended on July 7, although in the end this was unsuccessful.
The government, which is represented by Justice and Human Rights Deputy Minister Edward OS Hiariej, only handed over the completed draft of the RKUHP to Commission III on July 6.
"It's like this reluctance to involve or listen to the views of the broader public in the process of compiling this new criminal code has indeed become a common symptom [in legislation]", said Sakti.
"This generally occurs when the object of the regulation [is likely] to trigger controversy and polemic", he said.
Sakti said that the absense of a public voice in the deliberations on the RKUHP is not actually something new.
Around two years ago, he said, a similar case occurred when the government and the DPR were deliberating the Draft Omnibus Law on Job Creation. Yet the majority of the public were calling on the government and the DPR to be patient.
This was confirmed by the results of a Litbang Kompas poll in April 2020 which showed that 82.9 percent of respondents beloved that the deliberations on the Omnibus Law should be postponed.
"It was like [the legendary prince] Bandung Bondowoso who built  temples [overnight], this 'super' legislation was decided on in a relatively short time and gave the impression of being rushed", said Sakti.
"Yet, at the time there a polemic was still happening among the public", he said.
A similar thing, continued Sakti, also happened when the DPR revised the Corruption Eradication Law. Yet there were massive demonstrations opposing the revisions in several parts of the country such as Jakarta, Bandung (West Java) and Yogyakarta (Central Java).
"Unfortunately, the voices of the people were not listened to and both draft laws were passed", said Sakti.
[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was "Survei Litbang Kompas: 89,3 Persen Responden Tak Tahu Rencana Pengesahan RKUHP".]