Jakarta – Protesters from the Indonesian Student Alliance (AMI) and the Labour Movement with the People (Gebrak) say that the government of President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo and Vice President Ma'ruf Amin have failed to bring prosperity to the ordinary people.
This was conveyed by one of the protesters' representatives, Nining Elitos, during a speech from atop of the command vehicle after meeting with House of Representatives (DPR) Deputy Speaker Sufmi Dasco Ahmad and lawmaker Rachmat Gobel on Thursday April 21.
"The Indonesian state under the leadership of Jokowi and Amin has failed to bring prosperity to the ordinary people. This has been proven by the state's failure to deal with the economic crisis and the Covid-19 pandemic", said the Indonesian Trade Union Congress Alliance Confederation (KASBI) chairperson.
Elitos said that based on data from the Ministry of Labour, at least 29.4 million people were sacked during the Covid-19 pandemic.
On the other hand, communities in the villages, she said, are also confronting a monopolisation of the land by the oligarchy. Not only that, they also have to deal with increasingly expensive fertilizer and backward agricultural technology.
All of this, according to Elitos, is caused by weak control of prices and facilities by the Widodo-Amin administration. She said that this situation is not far different from that faced by students.
"Where the government has failed to respond to the high cost of education and an education system which is backward, anti-scientific and undemocratic", she said.
This situation has resulted in a decline in the people's quality of life and economic disparity becoming even wider.
Despite this, instead of providing subsidies to the ordinary people, the government instead increases the price of basic commodities without considering how the people will suffer.
"Like the high price of cooking oil, fuel, drinking water, electricity, fertilizer, toll roads and value added tax. This means that the burden of the economic and health crisis are falling on the ordinary people", she said.
Because of this, they are giving an ultimatum to the government and the DPR to listen to and pursue the wishes being conveyed. If not, according to Elitos, don't blame them if the people return to the streets.
"If the DPR is only a formality don't blame them if the people spill onto the toll roads, don't blame them if the people stop the wheels of the economy. If the DPR does not take us seriously we warn them to be careful", she said in conclusion.
Workers 'pour they heart out'
Elitos said that they conveyed a number of issues during a the meeting with the DPR leadership such as revisions to the Law on the Formation of Legislation (RUU PPP) related to the Omnibus Law, the fuel price hikes and high price of basic commodities.
"Where these price hikes flow on to, have an implication for society's needs, we as workers are of course influenced by these price hikes", Elitos told the media following the meeting.
She said that the rise in the price of food has a big impact on people's lives, particularly in reducing purchasing power. She is especially disappointed because the price hikes have occurred after the pandemic has subsided.
During the meeting, Elitos asked the DPR to pay attention to this situation.
"The people's purchasing power is weakening, so we conveyed to the DPR leadership, including those people's representatives at the DPR, that they must pay serious attention because the people are suffering due to various kinds of regulations", she said.
Meanwhile, DPR Deputy Speaker Sufmi Dasco Ahmad, one of two DPR leaders who received the worker and student representatives, guaranteed that they would listen the workers' wishes and convey them to the government.
During the meeting, Ahmad also claimed that they would continue to listen to the workers' wishes in relation to deliberations on revisions to the Omnibus Law which will follow a new process after the enactment of the UU PPP at the DPR. (tfq/thr/DAL)
[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was "Massa AMI dan Gebrak: Jokowi-Ma'ruf Gagal Sejahterakan Rakyat".]