Legislators lock civil society activists out of online meeting on Omnibus Law

CNN Indonesia – April 21, 2020
Handover of draft Omnibus Law at the DPR building in Jakarta – Undated (CNN)

Jakarta – The Civil Society Alliance says that they were removed then locked out of a House of Representatives (DPR) Legislative Body (Baleg) online meeting discussing the Draft Omnibus Law on Job Creation. The meeting was held amidst the corona virus pandemic using the Zoom videoconferencing platform on Monday April 20.

Greenpeace campaign spokesperson Asep Komarudin said the incident occurred after they conveyed differing views on the draft law from those of legislators. The online meeting was then locked so that they were not able to login again.

“The Civil Society Alliance in the Indonesian People’s Faction (FRI) found several ways [people were blocked] from the online hearing through the Zoom application which they said was open [to the public], namely people were expelled from the online platform after conveying aspirations which were different then the online platform was locked so the public was unable get in again despite trying repeatedly”, said Komarudin in a written release on Tuesday April 21.

Komarudin said he was not surprised by this because one of the DPR members warned other legislators that the document that they were discussing must not be disseminated outside of the meeting and it was a debate which did not need to public.

Komarudin believes that the remarks by the DPR member show that they do not want the ordinary people to take part on the deliberations on the Draft Omnibus Law on Job Creation.

“This shows that public participation is just a formality like a statement by another DPR member who said our input will be heard but not all of it needs to be accommodated”, he said.

Nusantara Traditional Community Alliance (AMAN) representative Tommy Indriadi meanwhile claimed that he too was removed from the Baleg’s online meeting. He even said that the administrator then blocked him so he was no able to login to the online meeting again.

“Meaning it’s the same as the DPR closing the door on the hearing or expelling members of the public from the hearing who are known for expressing and having different views from what was being discussed at the hearing”, said Indriadi.

Indriadi also said that the intentional blocking of public participation violates Article 96 of Law Number 12/2011 on the Formation of Regulations and Laws. This article states that the public has the right to provide oral and written input on the drafting of laws and regulations.

In addition to this, Article 96 also states that all draft laws must be able to be easily accessed by the public. Based on this therefore, the FRI has declared that the deliberations on the Omnibus Law are legally flawed because they have not involved the public.

“Postpone the DPR’s legislative agenda during the Covid-19 pandemic because it has been proven that the ordinary people are unable to participate in the deliberations”, said Indriadi.

The deputy chairperson of the DPR’s Baleg, Rieke Diah Pitaloka, has stated that during the meeting the Draft Omnibus Law on Job Creation working committee did not yet make any decisions. According to Pitaloka, during the discussions they only decided to open the meeting to receive input and look more closely into the draft law starting Wednesday April 22.

Pitaloka said that members of the public who will be invited to provide input for them will include experts, academics and social organisations who are for and against the draft law.

“Input will be received trough the mechanism of a public hearing (RDPU) which will be open to the public. The first RDPU is scheduled to be held on April 22, 2020”, said Pitaloka in a written release on Tuesday. (mts/pmg)

[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was “Masyarakat Dikeluarkan dari Rapat Daring RUU Ciptaker DPR”.]

Source: https://www.cnnindonesia.com/nasional/20200421173214-32-495800/masyarakat-dikeluarkan-dari-rapat-daring-ruu-ciptaker-dpr