Several workers take part in a protest against the 2020 Law on Job Creation in Central Jakarta on Monday. (Antara Photo/Muhammad Adimaja)

Glaring Typos Won't Derail Jokowi's Landmark Deregulation Plan: State Secretary

BY :DION BISARA, LENNY TRISTIA TAMBUN

NOVEMBER 03, 2020

Jakarta. The government has acknowledged shocking typos in the 2020 Law on Job Creation but insist on the law, which President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo hope would spearhead Indonesia's massive deregulation plan to spur investment in the next four years, would meet no trouble in its implementation, a minister said on Tuesday. 

One of the typos in question came up early in the law's Article 6, which includes a reference to a nonexistent paragraph in Article 5. A similar mistake was repeated in Article 151, which refers to a nonexistent paragraph in Article 141. Also, paragraph five, Article 175, refers to paragraph three, whereas it should refer to paragraph four.

State Secretary Minister Pratikno said the government acknowledged what he called "technical errors" in the job creation law but continued to argue that the errors did not affect the law's implementation. 

"Today, we find technical errors in writing in the 2020 Law on Job Creation. However, these mistakes are technical and administrative in nature, so they do not affect the implementation of the law," Pratikno said on Tuesday.

Jokowi has demanded its ministers to finish government regulations and their derivative rules to make the law operable in three months. Despite the tight deadline, the minister said the government would ensure such editorial mistakes would not happen again in the subsequent regulations.   

"We will continue to improve quality control [...] so that technical errors like this do not happen again in the future," Pratikno said.

Jokowi proposed the job creation bill last year in an unprecedented plan to revises more than 70 separate laws he deemed undermining Indonesia's ability to attract investment in one clean swoop. With the support of virtually all political parties in the House of Representatives, the law, containing more than 1,000 pages, gets passed in less than nine months of deliberation. 

But, since the House passed the bill on Oct 5, the public has seen several versions of what is supposed to be the final draft of the bill. Pratikno said on Oct 22, the difference in those versions stemmed from document formating. 

Pratikno said at the time his ministry was working on sorting out all the typos, editorials, and formating issues without changing anything substantial from what had been approved by the House.  

But, until Jokowi signed the Job Creation bill on Monday, Jokowi signed the Job Creation bill on Monday — an action that, according to a 2011 Law on Establishment of Law and Legislation, irrevocably makes the law with all of its flaws coming into force — such issues persist. 

Easy Target

The Center for Indonesian Law and Policy Studies (PSHK), a Jakarta-based legal think tank, said the errors had made the legislation an easy target for oppositions seeking to challenge it at the Constitutional Court.

"The Job Creation Law still contains formulation errors that affect the articles' substance," the Center for Indonesian Law and Policy Studies (PSHK), a Jakarta-based legal think tank, said in a statement on Tuesday. 

The center said the error was a violation of the law formulation clarity principle stated in the 2011 law about legislation.

"This formulation error is not merely a typo but needs to be interpreted as the fruit of a forced regulatory formation process that sacrifices the principles of transparency, participation, and accountability," PSHK said.

"This further shows that the job creation law contains formal flaws and must be seriously considered by the Constitutional Court in the law's formal review," PSHK said. In a formal review hearing, the court would determine whether the law's establishment follows the proper procedures or not. If it was the latter, the court might annul the law. 

Earlier on Tuesday, the Confederation of Indonesian Workers' Unions (KSPI) filed a judicial review on the job creation law to the Constitutional Court, seeking to overturn the law deemed detrimental to workers' welfare. Many typos in the law hand the confederation strong evidence supporting their case before the court. 

"Editorial errors and bad practices in the process of its formation are clear evidence for the Constitutional Court to state that the Job Creation Law is formally flawed so that it must be declared not legally binding in its entirety," PSHK said.

President Jokowi still has the last constitutional avenue by issuing a government regulation in lieu of law to amend the typos. Still, it would not erase the flaws in the law's legislation process PSHK said.

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