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Jakarta Post

Six governors have asked Jokowi to revoke or reconsider jobs law

  • News Desk

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta/Palembang, South Sumatra   /   Sat, October 10, 2020   /   05:53 pm
Six governors have asked Jokowi to revoke or reconsider jobs law A student protester holds up a poster based on the packaging of a headache medicine on Thursday during a demonstration on Jl. M.H. Thamrin in Central Jakarta. The poster reads, “The omnibus law causes headaches, environmental damage and the oppression of workers.” (JP/Seto Wardhana)

A number of regional leaders have expressed their intention to lobby the central government to cancel or reassess the recently passed Job Creation Law, following protests from workers and students throughout the nation.

After the House of Representatives passed the bill into law on Oct. 5, widespread protests erupted in a number of cities. Demonstrators demanded that President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo issue a regulation in lieu of law (Perppu) to revoke the law.

Some regional leaders echoed the demand, while others said they would convey protesters’ aspirations to the central government.

Six governors have said they will tell President Jokowi to revoke or reconsider the Job Creation Law. They are listed below.

Sutarmidji (West Kalimantan)

Governor Sutarmidji called on Jokowi to issue a Perppu in a Facebook post on Thursday afternoon, while protesters marched and clashed with authorities in the provincial capital of Pontianak.

“I, the governor of West Kalimantan, hereby implore the President to issue a Perppu to revoke the Job Creation Law as soon as possible to prevent conflict, which may become more widespread,” Sutarmidji said. “A good law should be in accordance with the public’s sense of justice.”

On Friday, the governor told protesters that he had conveyed their aspirations to the President during a virtual meeting. “I have told the President that I will send a formal letter, and he said he would accept such an opinion,” Sutarmidji said, as quoted by tribunnews.com.

Read also: Speedy passing of jobs law contrasted with stalled sexual violence bill

Ridwan Kamil (West Java)

During a demonstration in Bandung, West Java, on Thursday, Governor Ridwan Kamil told protesters that he would send a letter to Jokowi to pass on the demands of the workers who had urged the President to issue the Perppu.

“The workers have raised their objections,” Ridwan tweeted on Thursday afternoon. “We will send a letter containing the stance of West Java workers of rejecting the omnibus law and asking the President to issue a Perppu.”

Ridwan said the administration would deliver the letter on Friday. He noted that the letter did not represent his personal opinion but rather the position of the protesting workers. 

Khofifah Indar Parawansa (East Java)

The governor issued a letter on Thursday conveying workers’ demands to suspend the Job Creation Law immediately.

“On behalf of the East Java provincial administration representing workers, we demanded Bapak [Jokowi] consider suspending the […] law from taking effect after it was passed by the House of Representatives on Oct. 5,” Khofifah wrote in the letter.

East Java Governor Khofifah Indar Parawansa (second left) and Tebuireng Islamic boarding school official Abdul Hakim Mahfudz review “new normal” procedures in Jombang, East Java, on June. 16.East Java Governor Khofifah Indar Parawansa (second left) and Tebuireng Islamic boarding school official Abdul Hakim Mahfudz review “new normal” procedures in Jombang, East Java, on June. 16. (Antara/Syaiful Arif)

Khofifah has close ties with Jokowi. She was a member of Jokowi’s Cabinet and reportedly had his support in the East Java gubernatorial election in 2018.

The governor also has long associations with Nahdlatul Ulama, the country’s largest Islamic organization, which has condemned the law as “oppressive” and benefitting only the rich. The group has also called for a judicial review of the omnibus law.

Hamengkubuwono X (Yogyakarta)

Yogyakarta Sultan Hamengkubuwono X, who is also the provincial governor, sent a letter to Jokowi on Friday passing on workers’ objections to the Job Creation Law. He sent the letter following a meeting with representatives of protesters in the city on Thursday.

“We pass on the demand of Yogyakarta labor unions to revoke the law,” the governor wrote. “[They also] demand a clear process on minimum wage setting based on each region’s condition.”

The governor added that protesters had demanded social aid for all workers affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Read also: International labor union federations write to Jokowi to protest omnibus law

Irwan Prayitno (West Sumatra)

On Thursday, West Sumatra Governor Irwan Prayitno wrote a letter to the speaker of the House of Representatives conveying the demands of the province’s workers regarding the law.

The West Sumatra administration passes on the aspirations of labor unions, which object to the Job Creation Law,” the governor wrote.

He added that he had decided to convey the demands in response to widespread protests in the province.

South Sumatra Governor Herman Deru (center) and cigarette maker HM Sampoerna’s regional relations manager, Arief Triastika (second left), attend the Sampoerna Retail Community Expo in Palembang, South Sumatra, on Nov. 11, 2018.South Sumatra Governor Herman Deru (center) and cigarette maker HM Sampoerna’s regional relations manager, Arief Triastika (second left), attend the Sampoerna Retail Community Expo in Palembang, South Sumatra, on Nov. 11, 2018. (Antara/Nova Wahyudi)

Herman Deru (South Sumatra)

South Sumatra Governor Herman Deru said he would pass on the demands of workers and students regarding the law. He also asked university student representatives to send letters to Jakarta outlining their demands.

“I will tell the President and the House of Representatives your demands. We don’t have different spirits because these are public affairs,” Herman said during a rally in the provincial capital of Palembang on Friday evening.

“There’s still a chance [to revoke the law]. I will pass your demands on to the central government,” he added. (kuk)

--Yulia Savitri contributed to this story from Palembang, South Sumatra