The Jakarta Post
In his first public comment on the passage of the controversial Job Creation Law, President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo has said that criticism of the law is merely based on “disinformation and hoaxes spread through social media”.
The President claimed on Friday that various "allegations" made against the law, such as claims that it removed employees’ rights to leave and social security, including retirement benefits, were inaccurate.
“I assure you that it is not true. Leave rights and social security will still be there,” Jokowi said in a teleconference.
He further dismissed arguments surrounding the provision that eliminated environmental impact analysis (Amdal) requirements, saying that “big industries” still needed to conduct such analyses prior to operation.
Jokowi, however, failed to mention other contentious provisions in the widely criticized law, such as the provision that relaxes requirements for outsourced employees and changes in six laws related to the environment that would relax environmental standards.
The President also did not address concerns about the lack of public participation and transparency in the deliberation of the law, as critics claimed that labor unions and civil society groups were not fully included from the beginning of the deliberation process.
Even so, Jokowi “invited the public” to provide insights for the numerous regulations needed under the jobs law as he wanted to move on to proceed with the drafting of the required government regulations (PP) and presidential regulations (Perpres) for the implementation of the law.
“The Job Creation Law needs a lot of PP and Perpres, which will be completed three months at the latest after the law is passed," he said.
Jokowi insisted that the law would increase employment especially during the COVID-19 pandemic that has affected millions of workers across the country and would also pave the way for more small and medium enterprises to grow as overlapping-regulations had been removed.
The omnibus law amended some 79 prevailing laws and more than 1,200 articles from labor and mining regulations to business license and environmental laws, among other things, to cut red tape and improve bureaucratic efficiency, particularly in regard to business permits and investment.
Tens of thousands of people have staged a nationwide strike and protested in the days since the passage of the law on Monday, demanding the government revoke a law that they claim will only benefit employers and investors while trampling on the interests of workers.