The Indonesian president peacefully signs the bill into law overnight

BANGKOK – Indonesian President Joko Widodo quietly signed a divisive law on Monday night. Trigger bill It has sent millions of Indonesians to the streets.

The Universal Law was first proposed as an attempt to revive Southeast Asia’s largest economy, reduce red tape and destroy a portion of the regulations that encouraged investment.

But when they woke up on Tuesday, some Indonesians knew exactly what was in the new law, which suddenly expanded from 812 to 1,187 pages. Contradictions abound: For example, Section 6 of 186 refers to Article 5 (1), which is nowhere to be found.

“This is the worst legislative process I have ever known in the history of Indonesia,” said Pivitri Susanti, a lecturer at the Gentera School of Law in the Indonesian capital, Jakarta. “There has never been such a mess.”

Indonesia has the largest corona virus case in the region, with at least 14,000 deaths, and this year its economy is on track to enter its first recession in more than 20 years.

Critics have rejected a new law removing labor and environmental protections in a country where such protections are already poorly enforced. Stimulus measures allow certain development projects to proceed without environmental action or consultation with indigenous peoples. The burning of Indonesia’s rainforests and charcoal lands, often leading to palm oil plantations, is a major source of global carbon emissions.

The law provides for minimum separation wage requirements and mandatory days off for workers. It also allows businesses to replace full-time employees with cheaper contract workers. The Indonesian government says it will create about 1 million new jobs a year.

“The contents of the law, especially those related to the employment sector, are completely harmful to workers,” said Iqbal, president of the Indonesian Federation of Trade Unions.

He came to power in 2014 as a do-able technician who is largely unconstrained by Indonesia’s corrupt politics. Joko has sold the new law needed to make the world’s fourth most populous country a better place to do business. With the support of oligarchs pushing for business reforms, he won re-election last year for a second and final term.

After stimulation The bill was passed by Parliament In early October, millions of Indonesians joined in three days Nationwide strike Sometimes, it turned into violent demonstrations. The strikers said the strikes would continue.

His union federation filed a lawsuit in the Constitutional Court on Tuesday morning, arguing that the new law violated workers’ constitutional rights. A successful judicial review could lead to the repeal of the law, but legal scholars said the chances of such a decision were slim.

On Tuesday, investors and academics actively scanned the new law – which replaces dozens of existing labor, business and tax regulations – in an attempt to find out exactly what is in it. Incorrect paragraph references made clarity difficult. Arrangements for who controls Indonesia’s oil and gas reserves have been completely removed.

Five draft versions of the law have been floating around Jakarta for weeks. Mr. Joko signed on Monday night, a day before the deadline to sign the bill and while many labor activists and environmental activists were asleep, the sixth iteration.

“This draft, even after he signed it, still has mistakes because they were rushing it,” said Ms Pivotry of the Gentera School of Law. “This is what has angered the public because we will be greatly affected by this law, but they will not take this process too seriously.”

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