Since the early 20th century under the domination of imperialism, the nation and people in Indonesia have been confronted with chronic crises. It worsen when the imperialist shifted its burden of crises to a semi-colonial a country like Indonesia.
In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, this chronic crisis is increasingly unbearable for the Indonesian people. The Jokowi government is unable to solve the problems of pandemic but instead taking a new loan up to 400-600 trillion rupiahs, depriving political freedom and economic growth of minus 2.7%. Ordinary people increasingly struggle to cope with their family’s needs. The number of people who lost jobs and at the stake of losing jobs is soaring too. Daily earning workers such as drivers, small traders, and casual workers have lost their mobility during the pandemic and now gradually losing their survival mechanism.
The Jokowi government was not capable to provide the people with their urgent needs to live and compensate for the lost income, wages, and other freedoms. The solution adopted by Jokowi government remains depending on foreign debt and investment through full implementation of neo-liberal policies in Indonesia, one of which is the issuance of Omnibus Law on Job Creation which has been discussed in the Legislative Council and now waiting for the President’s re-approval.
This law is clearly a new attempt to block the pressing demands of the people for genuine land reform and a national industrialization, for the movement to liberate the nation and people of Indonesia from the domination of imperialism. The pretext of equal distribution of employment is used to accelerate and strengthen land monopolies through the development of national strategic infrastructure, expansion of large-scale plantations, food estate, corporate farming, large mining, national parks under the guise of conservation. The peasants, fishermen, indigenous peoples and ethnic minorities in Indonesia will increasingly be deprived of their land and natural resources, and will only become cheap laborers or poor peasants who are forced to live in a small-scale and underdeveloped agricultural system under the domination of big landlords.
The application of this law will also explicitly seize the basic economic rights such as wages, extend working hours, worsen working conditions, facilitate and eliminate compensation for termination of employment (layoffs), shorten the time for the licensing process for imperialists and their collaborators to do business in Indonesia and facilitate freedom for foreign workers to work in Indonesia. The entire scheme of land grabbing and wages under the guise of employment opportunity and development is fully supported by the investment-productive capital and the debt capital belongs to the imperialists and in return will accumulate wealth for imperialist, especially US-led world imperialism.
The Jokowi administration is taking advantage of the people’s fear over Covid-19 and “self-isolation” in homes hoping that over the discussion and passing of the Job Creation Law will generate less significant resistance. However, to the surprise of Jokowi’s administration, the national democratic mass movement and other movements in more than 40 districts and cities expressed their opposition to the approval of the Job Creation Law. The working-class, peasants, lecturers, students, youth, students, women, artists and even reactionary cliques who are preparing themselves for the presidential and local elections also oppose the enactment of this law by taking action in the streets, surrounding government offices, and bombarding various social media.
Instead of revoking the Job Creation Law, the Jokowi Government actually intimidates, arrests and tortures the workers, peasants, students and other people who opposed the ratification of this law. The students were beaten, shot with tear gas, and arrested.
The mass actions in various regions have become an expression of the people’s distrust and real opposition to the Jokowi government whose exhibiting its true face as a servant of international monopoly capitalists. The approval of the Job Creation Law by the Legislative Council is an evidence that the Jokowi Government will not fight for the genuine aspirations of the Indonesian people for genuine land reform and national industrialization, but rather a provider of legal instruments to facilitate the interests of international monopoly capitalists supported by the big comprador bourgeoisie and big landlords in the country.
In this regards, we, the organizations member of the People’s Struggle Front (FPR) declare our position against the approval of the Omnibus Law by President Jokowi Government and demand the following:
1. Stop all forms of violence, intimidation, arrest and criminalization of the people. Free all the arrested people unconditionally!
2. Provide compensation and guarantee the safety of the people due to the impact of the Covid-19 Pandemic with free and quality health and education services and access!
3. Abolish Rural Usury! Fix commodity prices and the living necessities of the Indonesian peasants and people!
4. Fair Profit Sharing for tenant farmers and better wages for agricultural workers in large plantations of timber, oil palm, rubber, sugar, other export commodities belonging to the Imperialists and the Big Landlords at the national level!
5. Implement a genuine land reform and build an independent national industry as an economic solution for the Indonesian people!
We call on all Indonesian people, the working class, the peasants, fishermen, youth, students, women, students, arts workers and all professionals to continue to strengthen and expand the people’s resistance.
Indonesia is opposing against the approval of the Job Creation Law, and is striving harder to realize genuine land reform and a national industry for the welfare of the people.