#NetizenVoice: The Omnibus Law Uproar on Social
07 Oct 2020
If you’re Indonesian, you are most likely to know already that there has been quite some controversy about a new bill of law that passed a few days ago, named the “Omnibus Law”. The issue of this bill has been an ongoing conversation amongst citizens (and netizen) ever since its conception back in 2019 and throughout the year even amidst the Covid-19 Pandemic issues in 2020. However, the controversy reached its peak on October 5th 2020 via social media with a lot of resistance from citizens as they shared their thoughts and opinions on why they are rejecting the officiation and legalization of this bill.
First, let’s get to know a little bit about Omnibus Law; what it is and what does it cover? Most importantly, why it caused such an uproar amongst Indonesian citizens and workers. The concept of omnibus law was put forward by President Jokowi and has a lot to do with the work in the economic sector. According to many media articles published regarding this issue, it was announced that back in January 2020, there were two omnibus law bills submitted by the government, namely for Job Creation (Cipta Kerja) and Taxation (Perpajakan). Overall, there are 11 clusters that are discussed in the Omnibus Law on the Job Creation Bill (RUU Cipta Kerja), namely:
- Simplification of Land Permits
- Investment Requirements
- Convenience and Protection of MSME; Small Micro Medium Enterprises (UMKM)
- Ease of doing/starting businesses
- Support for Research and Innovation
- Government Administration
- Imposition of Sanctions
- Control of Land
- Ease of Government Projects
- Special Economic Zones (KEK)
The Job Creation Bill (RUU Cipta Kerja), which had passed the process of becoming official, consists of 15 chapters and 174 articles which regulate various aspects of the workforce in Indonesia, starting from employment to working environments.
As soon as the media published online articles about the news of the Omnibus Law becoming official, netizens were enraged. According to the netizen uproar, many believe that this new law will actually put Indonesian workers in a compromising position or even at a disadvantage. Here’s why…
It was announced back in January 2020 through the Indonesian President that the main goal of this law was to bring in foreign investment to the country. However, there are a few points that will affect local workers negatively and somehow contradicts the rights of workers in Indonesia according to the many conversations we found just on social regarding this new law, such as; an undisclosed period of working contracts. The Job Creation Law removes the rules and regulations regarding the period of certain work time agreements (PKWT) of contract workers, in which further provisions regarding the type and nature of working activities, the timeframe and (time) limit for the extension of the work agreement for a specified period shall be regulated in a government regulation. What does this mean? It means that this new provision has the potential to give the power and flexibility to employers in retaining the status of contract workers indefinitely. There are also changes in wages based on this new law, in which the regulations on the seven types of mandatory wages were revised, the Omnibus Law has taken out a few of the mandatory wages from the bill. Another point regarding wages, regulations regarding sanctions for employers who do not pay wages according to the provisions were also removed through the Job Creation Law (RUU Cipta Kerja) as well. There are other points of this bill that also did not sit well with citizens according to what we’ve seen on social media. One of these other points being that the Job Creation Law (RUU Cipta Kerja) have also taken out regulations regarding the rights of workers to apply for termination of employment (PHK) if and when they feel they are at a disadvantage in their current place of employment. There has also been dispute along with a lot of back and forth regarding the state of menstrual leave and pregnancy leave for women regarding the lack of clarity based on the final draft of this Omnibus Law.
Based on these issues alone, there have been many negative sentiments on this new Omnibus Law passing the bill and has sparked a refusal movement amongst the laborers and workers in Indonesia, especially on social media.
There have been over 2 million conversations on Twitter alone within the past two days (October 5th 2020 - October 6th 2020) regarding this matter. Many of the angry posts blaming the Indonesian President and the People's Representative Council of Indonesia (DPR) for the lack of protection towards their own country’s workers.
Particularly on Tuesday, October 6th 2020, most of Indonesia’s trending topics on Twitter was dominated by topics regarding the people’s rejection of the Omnibus Law. Most of these topics of conversations include user created hashtags to spark a movement in rejection of this new law. With the hashtag #DPRRIKhianatiRakyat making the very top of the trending topics as it was used in 2,915,079 conversations on twitter alone. Followed by other hashtags created by users, namely; #JegalSampaiGagal which was posted in 3,022,465 tweets and #GagalkanOmnibusLaw in 3,089,545 posts.
Another very important issue emerged during this uproar, petitions. Yes, the movement did not just stop at angry tweets, many users started petitions for Indonesians and even foreign social users to sign in order to help abolish the law completely. These petitions started out being accompanied by the hashtag #MosiTidakPercaya (3,267,973) which then expanded into hashtags, such as #MosiTidakPercayaJokowi (26,956) and #MosiTidakPercayaDPRRI on the evening of October 6th until today, that have been used in 206,901 tweets.
Throughout our monitoring process, we found many other user-created hashtags, but other than hashtags there were also certain keywords that our tool captured during the past two days of monitoring. Keywords such as “DPR” and “DPR Gagal” was mentioned repeatedly in thousands of posts. There were 1,824,535 posts that mentioned “DPR Gagal” in just two days, which then became a trending hashtag on Tuesday, October 6th as it was mentioned in 2,871 posts. Followed by “Petisi” (Petition), in which we found over 84k tweets about petitions relating to the Omnibus Law issue.
That’s not all we found out. Our tool managed to capture 51.581 conversations that mentioned the Covid-19 Pandemic in relation to this issue as well, in which mostly talked about how betrayed and unprotected workers felt, especially during this pandemic which has in fact impacted negatively for a lot of people, especially financially and regarding to the job environment, speaking how this pandemic has already put workers in a disadvantage everywhere and that this new law would exploit and harm workers even more. Some posts even talked about how the government and the nation should be focusing on this global pandemic rather than pushing forward or focusing on the Omnibus Law. a CNN Indonesia Article also went viral with the headline that stated how the Job Creation Bill (RUU Cipta Kerja) was hiding behind the issue of this Covid-19 pandemic. Other media portals also posted how the process of passing this Omnibus Law had been pushed forward with reasons relating to the pandemic.
Take a look at the data we found during this uproar on social. The volume speaks numbers, doesn’t it?
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