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Jakarta Post

“Mere administrative error”: Palace downplays typos on signed Jobs Law

  • Moch. Fiqih Prawira Adjie

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Tue, November 3, 2020   /   06:38 pm
“Mere administrative error”: Palace downplays typos on signed Jobs Law President Joko "Joko" Widodo (left) speaks with Coordinating Economic Minister Airlangga Hartarto (center) and State Secretary Pratikno during a meeting at the Merdeka Palace on Jan. 10. (Antara/Puspa Perwitasari)

The State Palace has downplayed typos and errors discovered in the Job Creation Law that was recently signed by President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo, calling them unsubstantial technical errors amid mounting protests highlighting the flawed legislation process for the controversial law.

Jokowi signed Law No. 11/2020 on job creation on Monday, making it effective for implementation, nearly a month after the House of Representatives passed it into law on Oct. 5.

“The State Secretariat found the technical errors in the writing of Law No.11/2020 on job creation. However, these mistakes are technical and administrative in nature so that they do not affect the implementation of the Job Creation Law,” State Secretary Pratikno said in a written statement on Tuesday.

He said the secretariat had discovered the mistakes after a review and had informed the House secretary-general of the corrections that needed to be made.

“These technical errors serve as a note and input for us to continue to improve the quality control of a bill that is about to come into effect, so that errors like this do not happen again,” Pratikno went on to say.

According to reports, the signed law contains several errors, such as in Article 6 on the improvement of the investment ecosystem and business activities, which refers to a nonexistent clause in Article 5.

Additionally, Clause 5 of Article 175 on the implementation of government administration to support job creation chapters of the law refers to a wrong clause of the same article.

Read also: Jobs Law contains 'at least two fatal errors', says legal expert

Prior to being signed by Jokowi, at least five different drafts of the contentious law were made available to the public, all of which were shared by official figures. Each draft contained several noticeable differences, such as in the number of pages, which ranged from 812 to 1,187.

Officials, both from the government and House, have attributed minor changes such as page margin, paper size and fonts to the different amount of pages in each draft.

Experts and activists however, said the differences were significant changes, such as the 1,187-page version that no longer contains changes to Article 46 of Law No. 22/2001 on oil and natural gas, despite the law already being passed. The multiple versions and the fact that the House needed to revise the draft first after endorsement before submitting it to the executive showed indications that it was legally defective.

The signing of the law came amid weeks of massive protests across the country opposing the contentious law, which was criticized for potentially undermining labor and environmental protection rights.