People’s Vote of No Confidence in the Indonesian Goverment and Parliament: Stop the Omnibus Law on Job Creation Now

by | Oct 7, 2020 | Solidarity

A student group of environmental in Bogor spread a banner to protest the environmental destruction caused by Omnibus Law


PRESS RELEASE — Monday, October 5, 2020 

Despite massive opposition by many community groups, the government and parliament have forcefully enacted the Draft Omnibus Bill into law. Even though it is clear every article in the Draft Omnibus Bill demonstrates the state’s neglect for the people’s right to a dignified life and the acceleration of environmental destruction. 

The enactment of the Omnibus Law will prompt a flood of investments with questionable quality. A majority of the investments are cloaked as accelerating national flagship projects under the guise of strategic development that will actually make the people incapable of defending their land of livelihood. 

For example, the national strategic project in the form of developing new international ports and airports, including Kertajati West Java Airport, Jogjakarta International Airport, Kuala Tanjung International Port, Makassar New Port to new tourist destinations like Labuan Bajo which neglects sustainable development and destroy the livelihoods of fishermen and farmers. 

Another example is the National Strategic Project in the form of building energy infrastructure, such as the steam-electric power station in Batang, Cirebon and Indramayu that have also destroyed the lands of farmers and fishermen. 

Instead of thinking about the fate of farmers and fishermen that have lost their source of livelihood, the Job Creation Bill facilitates the greed and corruption of black investors with the help of the oligarchy. The oligarchy is an evil alliance between corporations and government officials/security apparatuses that uses any means necessary to rob the livelihood of the people, with the excuse of acquiring land for “public interest” without any clear indicators to be held responsible. 

The dream of bringing in investments that the Omnibus Bill on Job Creation promises can be assured to not be the savior of the national economy. The Omnibus Bill on Job Creation provides ease in permitting to a group of corporations that are the cronies of government officials and parliament members that will expand corruption. 

The scaling back of many regional government authorities in local spatial planning for various sectors as well as permitting demonstrates the limited understanding of the Omnibus Bill on Job Creation drafters of the importance of involving various regions in the development agenda. The intention to declutter regulation with the Omnibus Bill on Job Creation will create even more blockages in implementation because the simplification that is done only chops off the ends without integrated planning with the development agenda. 

Who loses the most with the Omnibus Bill on Job Creation? All of us. For example, the Omnibus Bill on Job Creation will enable companies to enjoy its Cultivation Rights Title (Hak Guna Usaha) for 90 straight years — before that it was only 25/35 years with an extension for an additional 25 years if the company fulfills the requirements. Of course this will deepen and widen agrarian conflict, where women are often subject to intimidation and layers of violence. 

Like the Indigenous women of Pubabu that are threatened to be criminalized because of their action to undress in front of security officials. The Omnibus Law on Job Creation threatens food sovereignty because it gives imported food equal standing as domestic food production and national food reserves as sources of food supply. The domestic market will be flooded with imported food, while subsidies for farmers and fishermen are continually being cut. More over, most women food suppliers are subsistent suppliers. 

This Omnibus Law also supports the exploitation and cheating of workers. Protections of decent work is cut because outsourcing and contract work can be even more rampant. Wages and severance pay are not even protected so bad companies will be more emboldened to do as they wish. 

The Omnibus Law worsens protections for the rights of women workers. Paid menstruation or miscarriage leave have been eliminated because it only recognizes annual and sabbatical leave that are regulated in work agreements, company regulation or collective bargaining agreements. 

Workers, farmers, fishermen, Indigenous Peoples and women, as well as all of us are not protected at all under this Omnibus Law to receive any kind of sustainable benefit from the natural resource potential. The elimination of a participatory process within the Environmental Impact Assessment (AMDAL) within the Omnibus Bill on Job Creation will create unfair contestation between corporations that disregard environmental destruction and the public. 

The Job Creation Bill will actually provide incentives to black companies by eliminating [the requirement for an] environmental permit, and companies will only be sanctioned administratively, not criminally, if they are able to pay the fines. Instead of leaving a sustainable legacy, the sustainable development agenda will be destroyed by the Omnibus Law on Job Creation so future generations will be left with nothing for the sake of short term gains. 

Massive land grabbing, employment challenges and worker rights that are continually cut can also push labor migration, where women often migrate to find work as domestic workers. Women domestic workers continue to suffer layers of abuses and rights violations because of the state’s minimal protections. 

Based on the above, we state: 

  1. Vote of No Confidence to the Indonesian Parliament and Government. The people demand to stop deliberation and to repeal the Omnibus Law on Job Creation. The government and parliament have betrayed the People and Constitution. The insistence of passing the Omnibus Law on Job Creation at a moment when the people are suffering great difficulties due to the COVID-19 pandemic and economic recession have shown that the government and parliament are accomplices of evil investors and corruptors. 

  2. Condemn the Government and security forces. The Indonesian People demand the immediate end to any form of criminalization to workers and people who are going on strike and demonstrations against the Omnibus Law on Job Creation. FRI would like to remind all that the right to associate, gather and freedom of expression is guaranteed under the Constitution so cannot be trampled on by the evil intentions of the government and parliament to pass the Job Creation Law that will bring a new style of colonialism. 

  3. Call on the People to continue voicing and amplify this Vote of No Confidence. Take action both online and offline to repeal the Omnibus Law by all means using all forms of media; including supporting mass worker strikes and calling other people, including women, in across all regions and sectors (students, farmers, fishermen, urban and rural poor) to support the strike. 

  4. Fraksi Rakyat Indonesia (Indonesian People’s Faction) call on all Indonesian people that love freedom to never stop fighting until the Omnibus Law on Job Creation is repealed. 

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