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Jakarta Post

Fifth version of draft jobs law emerges, this one at 1,187 pages

  • Ghina Ghaliya and Marchio Irfan Gorbiano

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Thu, October 22, 2020   /   06:09 pm
Fifth version of draft jobs law emerges, this one at 1,187 pages Severe migraine: A student protester holds up a poster based on the packaging design of headache medicine on Thursday, Oct. 8, 2020, during a demonstration on Jl. MH Thamrin in Central Jakarta. The poster reads: “The omnibus law causes headaches, environmental damage, workers’ oppression.” JP/Seto Wardhana (JP/Seto Wardhana)

Yet another draft version of the Job Creation Law has emerged, even after the House of Representatives handed over the supposed final 812-page draft to President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo on Oct. 14.

The new draft, which is 1,187 pages long, was first reported on Wednesday after two of the country’s largest Islamic organizations – the Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI) and the Muhammadiyah – told the press that State Secretary Pratikno had given them a copy of the draft.

Pratikno visited the MUI to deliver a copy on Sunday. Several days later on Wednesday, Jokowi invited Muhammadiyah representatives to Merdeka Palace, Central Jakarta, to discuss the law.

"The soft copy is 1,187 [pages], while the hard copy is 1,038 [pages],” MUI deputy chairman Muhyiddin Junaidi told the press on Wednesday.

Presidential staffer Donny Gahral Adian said the additional pages in the 1,187-page draft were mostly due to adjustments to the paper format, paragraphs and font type and size.

The Jakarta Post obtained a copy and compared it to the 812-page draft. Besides the changes mentioned by Donny, the new draft also has a presidential letterhead, as well as additional words to guide readers to the next page in the lower right corner of each page.

An article has been removed from the 812-page draft, as the 1,187-page draft no longer contains changes to Article 46 of Law No. 22/2001 on oil and natural gas.

The article in question from the 812-page draft gave the Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry the authority to approve tariffs for transporting natural gas by pipeline or toll routes – a process that is currently under the jurisdiction of the Downstream Oil and Gas Regulatory Agency (BPH Migas).

Local media outlets reported that in May, the ministry proposed the change, saying it would lower industrial gas prices.

The House’s Legislation Body (Baleg) never approved the proposed change during the deliberation process, but it was included in the 905-page draft, which was used by the House to pass the bill into law on Oct. 5, as well as the 812-page draft that the House sent to Jokowi.

With the new 1,187-page draft there are now at least five supposedly final versions of the controversial law in circulation: a 905-page version that was distributed to lawmakers for the plenary session in which the House passed the law on Oct. 5; a 1,054-page version dated Oct. 9; a 1,035-page version with the file name “Send to President”; an 812-page version that the House submitted to the President for his signature; and the 1,187-page version given to the MUI and Muhammadiyah.

Besides the five different versions of the law, there also exists a 1,028-page draft dated March 2020, before the law was passed.