Coalition says new Jakarta law only facilitates the interests of elite investors

CNN Indonesia – April 4, 2024
National Monument in Central Jakarta – Undated (CNN)

Jakarta – A civil society coalition named the Jakarta Concerned Council Coalition is asking the government to revoke the recently enacted Jakarta Special Region (DKJ) Law. They consider that the legislative product is only to facilitate the interests of elite investors.

"The Jakarta Concerned Council Coalition demands that the Jakarta Special Region Law be revoked", said Jakarta Indonesian Legal Aid and Human Rights Association (PBHI) member Muhamad Ridwan Ristomoyo at a press conference on Wednesday April 3.

The Coalition is also urging the government to ensure that the specialty of Jakarta lie in its ecological recovery. Then, ensuring meaningful community participation in all policies and developments in Jakarta and its surrounding areas.

Ristomoyo said the government always uses the pretext of green development for agglomeration.

Yet development in Jakarta has never been separated from concretisation that marginalises communities, such as in the case of Kampung Susun Bayam, where residents were offered new apartments if they moved to make way for the Jakarta International Stadium (JIS) project, but then prevented from occupying the apartments.

"Communities always suffer the impact of the development carried out by the government. The government has never prioritised the aspect of human rights in development in Jakarta", he said.

In addition to this, he said, there are legal problems in the DKJ Law, namely it was deliberated in a very narrow timeframe.

The narrow timeframe of the deliberations not only risks the regulatory substance, but impacted on the limited time for the public to participate in the process of preparing the Jakarta law.

Ristomoyo believes that the low level of participation by the community will result in the legitimacy of the law being weak.

On the same occasion, Jakarta Legal Aid Foundation (LBH Jakarta) Director Citra Referandum said that the DKJ Law only accommodates the interests of the elite.

"If you read the entire manuscript of the DKJ Law, it can be seen that the true purpose of this regulation is to facilitate the interests of elite investors", he explained.

Referandum said that even though the first consideration cited in the law is about the realisation of people's welfare and the fulfillment of human rights, it is merely a covering.

"The main objective for the passing of this law is actually found in the second consideration, which is to make Jakarta the center of the national economy and a global city", Referandum said.

He noted that the development of a national economy and global city does not really ensure guarantees of the fulfillment of human rights and the well-being of the ordinary people.

Because, a number of provisions only focus on giving a role to elite councils that will be regulated later by the president and the governor. The elite councils are the municipal and regency councils and the Agglomerated Regional Council.

"The lack of community participation not only occurred in the preparation and ratification stages, but will also occur at the stage of implementing the law, bearing in mind that the substance of the regulation actually sidelines the communities' rights, especially the urban poor", he said.

Projecting into the future, he said, the various regions that make up Jakarta such as Bogor, Depok, Tangerang, South Tangerang, Bekasi and Cianjur will be forcibly designated as national strategic projects (PSN).

The impact of this, according to Referandum, is that urban communities will be increasingly and structurally impoverished, human rights, including economic, social and cultural rights as well as civil and political rights will be violated. In addition to this, communities' quality of life will further decline.

"We also did not find any special provisions regarding community participation in the DKJ Law. Even the phrase 'participation' was only found once in the manuscript", Referandum said.

"We consider that various aspects of the legislation processes did not comply with the principle of meaningful participation, so automatically the regulation through to the implementation of the law will certainly ignore the rights of citizens", he added. (lna/wis)

[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was "Koalisi Sipil Minta UU DKJ Dicabut: Cuma Fasilitasi Pemodal".]