Activists oppose draft law on capital investment, neoliberalism

Source – March 13, 2007
Social Alliance for the People’s Welfare protest (Solo Post)
Social Alliance for the People’s Welfare protest (Solo Post)

Muchus Budi R., Solo – Scores of people demonstrated at the Gladag roundabout in the Central Java city of Solo on March 13 opposing the ratification of the Draft Law on Capital Investment because it fails to side with the interests of the people.

The protesters, who came from a number of student groups and non-government organisations calling themselves the Social Alliance for the People’s Welfare (Amuk Rakyat), arrived at the roundabout at around 10.30am.

In speeches, the demonstrators called for the ratification of the draft law to be opposed because it overly sides with the interest of foreign capitalists. They also believe that it lacks transparency.

“The articles in the Draft Law on Capital Investment will cause huge financial losses to the state and the people. Because of this the ratification of the law must be opposed”, said one of the demonstrators in a speech.

The articles with the potential to cause looses include Article 1 Paragraph 3 that makes it possible for foreign capitalists to operate in Indonesia without working jointly with domestic capital.

Article 6 Paragraph 1 says that the state will provide similar treatment to capitalists from all countries. According to the protesters, this is the same as the state failing to protect domestic capital.

Article 8 Paragraph 1 says that capital investors can transfer their assets to another party. This article frees foreign capitalists from their responsibilities so that financial losses will be born by the state.

Moreover, Article 20 Paragraph 1 states that business permits will be issued for 95 years, building permits for 80 years and land use rights to the produce from state or privately owned land for 70 years. These rights signify that the government will transfer huge amounts of assets to foreign capitalists.

“Because of this, Amuk Rakyat opposes the draft law, opposes neoliberalism and opposes foreign interference”, said one of the protesters.

[Slightly abridged translation by James Balowski.]