The Omnibus Law is an affront to democracy

Update: At the time of writing, the Omnibus Law on Job Creation was still being discussed in Parliament. By the time of publication, the Law has entered into force and approved by President Joko Widodo.

In the last few days, Indonesia has seen protests flaring up in major cities across the archipelago. From Jakarta to Parepare, workers and students have risen against the government, voicing and expressing their discontent with the Omnibus Law on Job Creation (Undang-Undang Cipta Kerja). The protests are on a scale like last year’s protests against a series of Bills, most notably a draft revision to Indonesia’s Criminal Code and the Law on the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK). Their discontent is directed at many aspects of the pro-business omnibus law, such as its potentially detrimental effect on labour protection and environmental protections. The government has mostly dismissed these concerns and criticism as “hoaxes” and insists that the omnibus law would increase employment and attract investment, which is something the country needs to restart its pandemic-stricken economy.

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