President Joko Widodo delivers a speech to clarify reports about the newly-adopted job creation law in Jakarta on Oct. 9, 2020. (Screenshot Photo)

President Blames Disinformation for Violent Protests against Job Creation Law


OCTOBER 09, 2020

Jakarta. President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo on Friday detailed a number of misleading reports and hoaxes in social media, which he said have led to nationwide protests against the newly adopted job creation law. 

“I noticed demonstrations against the job creation law that basically took their roots from disinformation and hoaxes about the substance of the law circulating in social media,” the president said in a video message from the State Palace in Jakarta.

“Let me take an example: there was information saying that the minimum provincial and district wage requirements have been repealed. That’s not true, the fact is that the regional minimum wage is still valid,” he said.

He dismissed accusation by protesters that the new law adopts a time rate system, in which workers are paid by the hour, saying existing regulation on that matter still applies.

“Some said all types of leave -- such as wedding leave, compassionate leave and maternity leave -- are scrapped by the law without any compensation whatsoever. I must underline that this is not true either. Workers’ rights for a paid leave are still there,” Jokowi said.

The president went on to deny allegations that the new law seeks to remove social insurance for workers, allows employers to unilaterally fire workers and omits environmental preservation from the requirements for running businesses.

“Why do we need this job creation law? Every year we have 2.9 million more young people entering the job market, so it’s very urgent for us to create new jobs, especially during this pandemic,” Jokowi said.

“There are around 6.5 million unemployed people and 3.5 million workers who have lost their jobs due to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.”

The new law emphasizes on labor-intensive jobs because 87 percent of people at working age are graduates of high school or lower, the president said.

It also streamlines procedures in opening businesses, primarily for micro, small and medium enterprises, he said.

“They no longer need a business license -- all they need to do is register their businesses, it’s that simple,” he added. 

The new law also omits minimum capital requirement for the establishment of a limited company and allows just nine people to set up a cooperative, he said.

Another key advantage in the new law, according to the president, is that it helps prevent corruption by introducing online registration system for all levels of businesses, closing door to rampant illegal levies.

Student clashed with police during riot in Harmoni, Central Jakarta on Thursday (08/10). (JG Photo/Yudha Baskoro)
Students clash with police during riot in Harmoni, Central Jakarta on Thursday (08/10). (JG Photo/Yudha Baskoro)