[Indonesia] Open Space #1: Debunking the Myths Around the Omnibus Law on Job Creation Bill
The House of Representatives of The Republic of Indonesia (DPR) passed the Job Creation Bill (UU Cipta Kerja) on October 5, 2020. Controversy arises because some of these articles raise concerns on how the law impacts labor rights, indigenous land rights, and reduced environmental protection. A series of protests have occurred since October 2020 across major cities in Indonesia, demanding the law to be revoked.
Indonesia Youth Open Space held a discussion via Zoom meeting on October 31, 2020, to debunk the myth about the bill. Syarifah Reihana, a corporate lawyer, was invited as the speaker. To the 11 youth participants from various backgrounds attending the event, Reihana said that there was misleading information regarding the Job Creation Law circulating in the media and social media. For example, it is assumed that a foreign worker will easily find a job in Indonesia because of the Job Creation Law. In fact, the law states several processes that a foreign worker will have to go through before working in the country.
On the other hand, we also need to raise the concern regarding the process of making the law. The Job Creation Law was created hastily and without the involvement of the public. There are certainly worrisome issues about several points of the law such as the reduction of a comprehensive environmental permits to only environmental approval.
In the discussion, Sekar, one of the participants, expressed her surprise because overseas companies that are supposed to gain advantages from UU Cipta Kerja, turn out questioning the law. The forum then discussed how the problem of foreign investment in Indonesia is actually cannot be solved by a new regulation. The things that need to change are the corrupted government and the complicated bureaucracy.
Due to many myths circulating on social media, the forum participants also talk about how to tackle misinformation. According to Reihana, as a young generation that has access to many sources of knowledge, it is very important to read thoroughly, practice critical thinking, and always do a crosscheck when we find any information. This process needs to be done so that Indonesians, especially youth, have a stance which is based on valid arguments. "It's very important for youths to stay concerned and stay political on things. And in order to express their view, youth has their own ways," said Reihana.
Here are some highlights from the session
"As a youth, we have to read the draft ourselves or read trustworthy research. The media could be right but they can be drawn towards bias too. It's always good to crosscheck."
“It is essential for youths to remain critical and distance themselves from hidden biases forced down through the media as a medium.”
“Lately we see in the news that overseas companies that are supposed to be the target of the law are questioning the law itself.”