The Jakarta Post
Most Indonesians who are aware of the omnibus bill on job creation want the House of Representatives to pass it, hoping the regulations could increase the number of jobs, a survey by Saiful Mujani Research & Consulting (SMRC) shows.
According to the study, which surveyed 2,215 people from July 8 to 11, 52 percent of the 26 percent of people who said they knew about the bill wanted the House to pass it. Meanwhile, 37 percent of them said they did not support the bill and 11 percent did not answer.
"The majority of people who know about the job creation bill said it would bring benefits to the country’s economy," SMRC research director Deni Irvani said in a statement on Tuesday.
“This bill is considered important to increase business certainty, simplify business procedures and generate new jobs."
Deni said the government and the House should raise public awareness on the legislation, explaining that the 26 percent of people knowing about the bill was a small number for such an important matter.
"Seventy-four percent of the respondents still don't know about the bill. Therefore, it is a task for the government and the House to raise public awareness about it,” he said.
The survey also revealed that opposition to the bill was higher among those with higher education and income as well as those living in cities.
Among those who know about the bill, 42 percent of highly educated people rejected it. Fifty-four percent of the people with income exceeding Rp 4 million (US$274.31) who know about the bill also rejected it. Among those who know the bill, only 49 percent of people living in cities support it.
According to the report, support for the bill was stronger among people of lower socioeconomic status and those living in rural areas.
"Support for the bill is higher among women in rural areas, those of higher age, lower education and lower income, and among blue collar workers and the unemployed.”
The deputy chairman of social and political research institute Cakra Wikara Indonesia, Dirga Ardiansa, questioned the survey's objective, saying the SMRC should highlight the 74 percent of the respondents that still don't know the bill.
“They are hiding something by highlighting that 52 percent of Indonesians support the bill, while really [only] 26 percent of the people are [even] aware of the bill," he said.
“The survey should not highlight the [aspect of] who support the bill and who doesn't, but the fact that 74 percent of the people still don’t know about the bill. The SMRC’s survey tries to lead the readers to a certain public opinion. The way it is presented is biased," he added.
The government expects the House to finish deliberating the omnibus bill on job creation by early September, Coordinating Economic Minister Airlangga Hartarto has said.
The omnibus bill includes 80 articles to revise prevailing regulations related to investment and business permits. Several of the articles are expected to improve the ease of doing business.
The bill also contains 19 articles to revise regulations on land acquisition, which has become one of the biggest obstacles for direct investment in Indonesia. Some investment projects have been in limbo for years due to land issues, according to the Investment Coordinating Board (BKPM).
The omnibus bill also includes five articles related to employment. However, the government decided to delay deliberation on these articles in response to mounting pressure from labor unions over fears that the articles would lure investment at the expense of workers’ welfare.