Source: Agenzia Fides – MIL OSI
Headline: ASIA/INDONESIA – Challenge of the law that reorganizes the labor market, inappropriate according to an Indonesian Jesuit
Jakarta – “The problem with the Omnibus Law lies above all in the fact that the decision to vote it took place at an inappropriate moment, without a thorough public debate and without a strong involvement of civil society”. It is with these words that Father Ignatius Ismartono SJ, Director of Sahabat Insan, an Indonesian Jesuit organization that deals with immigrant workers and victims of human trafficking, comments the demonstrations to Agenzia Fides, which for some days, have been crossing the Indonesian archipelago. Thousands of demonstrators took to the streets to challenge, in some cases even violently, the so-called “Omnibus law”, an important law, passed in a hurry last Monday, which intends to reform the labor market, bureaucracy and rules in matters of foreign investments. The measure had long been targeted by critics and especially by trade unions and the anticipation of the parliamentary vote made the situation even more tense. The speed with which the text was approved, which was neither the subject of a public debate nor an in-depth parliamentary debate, provoked widespread protest. “An omnibus law, that is, intended for everyone – continues Father Ismartono – can work well only if its content is understood not only by politicians but by the population. This is very complicated in these times of emergency, characterized by Covid-19. These general laws only work if there is a good understanding and a basic agreement of the workers, a correct application of democratic rules and if workers do not feel threatened. The demonstrations in recent days have shown that this was neither the time nor the right way “to adopt such a text.