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Jakarta Post

Job Creation Law ‘defective’, experts say after incomplete draft passed

  • Alya Nurbaiti

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Sat, October 10, 2020   /   08:52 am
Job Creation Law ‘defective’, experts say after incomplete draft passed Words of protest: Words spray-painted on a wall in Jakarta reflect the sentiments of protesters who have opposed the House of Representatives' passing of the controversial Job Creation Law, which sparked days of nationwide protests. The graffiti reads: “Want to be elected/Want to be heard/After [they are] elected/They don’t want to hear. R.I.P.” (JP/Seto Wardhana)

Amid the uproar that has resulted from the passing of the controversial Job Creation Law by the House of Representatives, a lawmaker has claimed the legislature is still working on the final draft of the controversial law, sparking concerns among experts who have described the law as “legally defective”.

Member of the House Legislation Body (Baleg) Firman Soebagyo said he was concerned about possible misinformation being spread among the public that had triggered three days of nationwide protests. He claimed the public may not have received accurate information regarding the jobs law as the final version of the law was still being refined.

“We are still revising the draft so that there aren’t any typos. We will soon deliver the draft to President [Joko “Jokowi” Widodo],” the Golkar party politician said on Wednesday.

Lawmakers passed the contentious law, which contains provisions that activists and members of the public have argued threaten labor rights and environment protections, on Monday following a series of back-to-back and weekend meetings.

Didi Irawadi Syamsuddin, a lawmaker of the Democrat Party and member of House Commission XI overseeing finance, claimed a draft of the jobs bill had not been distributed to lawmakers during the most recent plenary session on Monday.

“It’s ironic because the jobs law is such a crucial law but we didn’t receive a draft bill during the plenary meeting,” he said, as quoted by tribunnews.com.

The Democrats and the Prosperous Justice Party (PKS) are the only two parties in the House, among nine, that opposed the endorsement of the law.

Read also: Ministry prepares regulation on small businesses to implement jobs law

Constitutional law expert Faiz Rahman of the Yogyakarta-based Gadjah Mada University (UGM)’s School of Law said it was strange that lawmakers had claimed not to have received a draft during the plenary session. He said all lawmakers should have been given and read the final draft before it was passed into law.

“Even though representatives of each faction were involved in the earlier deliberations, the final draft must be distributed to all lawmakers during the plenary session. It’s illogical for lawmakers to have approved a bill without knowing which draft bill it was,” he told The Jakarta Post on Friday.

Another of UGM’s constitutional law experts, Mahaarum Kusuma Pertiwi, echoed Faiz’s concerns, saying the jobs law was formally flawed.

“Any draft bill that has not been agreed upon during the first stage of deliberations [between Baleg and representatives of each fraction] cannot be taken to the plenary meeting. It means the deliberation has not been completed,” she said

Even if the revisions were merely about wording, Mahaarum said, that was not an excuse to rush an unfinished bill into a plenary session.

“Why not cancel the plenary session if the bill was not ready? The wording is not a trivial matter,” she said.

According to Article 72 of Law No.12/2011 on the drafting of laws and regulations, once a bill is passed by the legislature, it requires the approval of the president to be enacted. Therefore, there should be not be any additional processes between a law being passed by the House and being passed by the president, even if it was only to fix typos, she added.