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Jakarta Post

Lawmakers upset over Jokowi’s social media gaffe on job creation omnibus bill

  • Ghina Ghaliya
    Ghina Ghaliya

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Tue, April 28, 2020   /   06:01 am
Lawmakers upset over Jokowi’s social media gaffe on job creation omnibus bill Indonesian students stage a rally against the omnibus bill on job creation in front of the House of Representatives complex in Jakarta on March 4. (JP/Seto Wardhana)

Lawmakers have expressed their disagreement over President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo’s recent social media posts that claim the government and the House of Representatives agreed on delaying deliberations on a disputed omnibus bill on job creation.

The posts, published on Jokowi's Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts on Monday morning, were edited a few minutes later. The revised posts now say that the government and the House agreed on delaying deliberations over labor provisions within the bill.

Rieke Diah Pitaloka of the ruling Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P) said on Monday that should the government wish to cancel the entire deliberation, it must revoke the draft bill from the House.

Rieke added that the government should avoid acting on anything that could trigger public outrage projected toward the House. 

"Lawmakers will be blamed for continuing the deliberations, even though we have followed the proper procedures. Don't let the public think that only the House wants to deliberate the bill,” she during a virtual hearing of the bill on Monday with several experts and the House legislative body.

Achmad Baidowi of the United Development Party (PPP) called on the presidential communication team to explain the errors to the public and asserted that the House was not forcing the deliberation.

Read also: Guide to omnibus bill on job creation: 1,028 pages in 10 minutes

"This makes us uncomfortable. There is a tweet from President Jokowi saying that the bill was being postponed. It was clear a few days ago that the government and the House were only canceling deliberations on labor provisions," he said.

Firman Subagyo of the Golkar Party said as long as the President did not revoke the presidential letter (Surpres) from the House, the deliberations should continue, noting that lawmakers should get over the tweet.

"We don't need to talk about the tweet. It will only create noise. We need to hold on to the fact that the [presidential letter] has not been revoked. The discussion should continue," he said.

At Monday’s hearing, experts and lawmakers suggested a change to the bill’s title as the labor provisions were being canceled.

Rieke suggested the bill could be changed to the omnibus bill on the facilitation of investment licensing or the economic reform bill, which the experts also suggested.

"This will also create certainty for the public; that this bill does not regulate labor," he said.