The Jakarta Post
Said Aqil Siradj, the chairman of Indonesia’s largest Islamic mass organization Nadhlatul Ulama (NU), has stated that the recently passed Job Creation Law is “oppressive” and benefits only the rich.
“[The law] only benefits tycoons, capitalists and investors but tramples on the interests of laborers, farmers and the lower classes,” Said said in a video uploaded to NU’s official YouTube account.
“Within the omnibus law, education [institutions], for example, are treated as if they are companies. This is wrong,” he added.
Said called for a tasawuth (moderate and balanced) solution in the form of a judicial review.
“Our stance is critical [against the omnibus law] but let’s do it in an elegant way and without violence,” he said. “We demand a [judicial] review.”
He further appealed to NU members to continue speaking out for the people. He said that Indonesia’s rich natural resources were sufficient for the welfare of the country’s entire population if managed fairly.
“But in fact, it benefits only a handful of people and creates an imbalance. The rich get richer and the poor get poorer,” he said.
Muhammadiyah, the country’s second-largest Muslim organization, also voiced its concern about how the government had handled the law.
Muhammadiyah general secretary Abdul Mu’ti said that given the widespread protests and strikes against the law across the country, the government should “understand the public’s psychological state and disappointment.”
“[The government] should have a dialog with elements of the public, particularly those who are opposed to the law,” Mu’ti said in a statement on Muhammadiyah’s official website, adding that the government should avoid taking an “authoritarian approach.”
Earlier this week, a group of religious leaders - including Muslim clerics Maksum Mahfudz, Busyro Muqoddas and Roy Murtadho, Christian pastors Merry Kolimon and Penrad Sagian - had also declared their opposition to the Job Creation Law. Penrad also posted an online petition calling for the public to reject the law. As of the time of writing, the petition has gained over 1.3 million signatures.