JAKARTA, Indonesia

Indonesian President Joko Widodo signed the Job Creation Law late Monday amid nationwide protests.

The government and House of Representatives passed the law on the grounds of attracting foreign investments and creating more jobs in the country.

The 1,187-page law containing 79 statutory-level regulations is still facing rejection by the public, particularly labor groups, who see it as a “serious threat” to workers’ rights.

Some labor groups decided to challenge the law in the Constitutional Court, while some unions chose to continue protesting against it.

The groups that filed a judicial review lawsuit included Confederation of Indonesian Workers Unions (KSPI) and Confederation of All Indonesian Workers Unions (KSPSI).

“The lawsuit for judicial review of Job Creation Law Number 11 of 2020 was officially submitted this morning at the Constitutional Court,” Said Iqbal, the chairman of the KSPI, told Anadolu Agency Tuesday.

He said, however, the group will continue to hold protests against the law.

Indonesian Trade Union Alliance Congress (KASBI) also said it would continue to take to the streets against the law, but refused to file a judicial review.

“We didn’t file a judicial review of the law which was against the law from the start,” Nining Elitos, the chairwoman of the group, told Anadolu Agency.

Elitos said the ratification of the Job Creation Law provides more room for exploitation of human and natural resources.

The group is scheduled to hold a rally on Nov. 10 to coincide with the commemoration of National Heroes’ Day, she added.

The new Job Creation Law amends 79 prevailing laws, including the Labor Law, Environmental Management Law and Spatial Planning Law.

It makes major changes to environmental regulation and workers’ entitlements, removing key protections such as mandatory paid leave for childbirth, increased limits on work overtime, and cutting severance pay amounts.

‘Errors’

Even though the Job Creation Law has been signed by the president, labor unions criticized several “errors” that have been found in the law.

They include Article 6, which referred to Clause 1a of Article 5. However, Article 5 did not contain Clause 1a.

On the 905-page version of the draft, there were two clauses underneath Article 5. These clauses were not included in the Job Creation Law. Besides, multiple versions of the bill have added to public confusion.

On Oct. 14, the House’s Secretary-General Indra Iskandar submitted an 812-pages long final draft to the government.

However, the law finally ended with 1,187 pages after being reviewed by the State Secretariat.

“Our democracy is deeply imperiled because of this issue,” said the chairwoman of KASBI.

Meanwhile, State Secretary Pratikno said on Tuesday that those errors are considered technical mishaps so it will not affect the implementation of the law.

Focus on COVID-19 handling

An economist said President Joko Widodo’s decision to ink the law would eventually lead to economic fluctuations and other risks.

“I think there will be huge risks related to the implementation of the law, because the government does not listen to the public who found many weaknesses in the Job Creation Law,” said Executive Director of Center of Reform on Economics Muhammad Faisal on Tuesday.

He said the government should have focused on handling the pandemic instead as the economy will start to improve when the pandemic is handled.

“As long as there is a pandemic, it will be hard to increase economic growth and investment,” Faisal told Anadolu Agency.

Feri Amsari, constitutional law observer, said several errors in the law indicated the rule drafting was carried out recklessly.

He added that a legislation review mechanism is needed to revoke this law.

Feri suggested reporting the Job Creation Law to the State Administrative Court because the drafting process was problematic and many errors have been detected in the law.

*Writing by Rhany Chairunissa Rufinaldo and Maria Elisa Hospita with Anadolu Agency’s Indonesian language services in Jakarta

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