Jakarta – The Indonesian Legal Aid Foundation (YLBHI) has highlighted regulations in the Draft Omnibus Law on Job Creation which give the government the authority to evict people and appropriate their land without the complications of dealing with compensation.
YLBHI Chairperson Asfinawati says that the government will still have the authority to appropriate land even if people reject the compensation offered. The government only has to deposit the compensation with a district court.
The regulations represent revisions to Article 42 of Law Number 2/2012 on Land Procurement for Development in the Public Interest which are detailed on pages 621-622 of the Omnibus Law.
"If later the government wants to appropriate land, this article regulates that if people don't want to be evicted, after a stipulated amount of time compensation only needs to be deposited with a court", Asfinawati told CNN Indonesia on Thursday April 9.
Asfinawati says that after the government has deposited the compensation with a district court, within a maximum of 14 working days people are obliged to accept it.
In addition to this, said Asfinawati, the government has the authority to seize land anywhere if it fulfills the criteria of being "in the public interest".
The criteria of "in the public interest" covers upstream and downstream oil and gas industrial areas, special economic zones, industrial areas, tourist areas and other areas where development is initiated by and controlled by the central government, regional governments or national and regional state-owned enterprises.
"People who hold land rights will also lose out if it is cited that it's for the public interest. Who determines this? The government. This is the model used by the New Order [regime of former President Suharto] whose actions were legalised by legislation so it did not give the impression of being dirty", she said.
The Omnibus Law on Job Creation was an initiative launched by President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo at the beginning of his second term in office. The law aims to simplify some 1,244 articles covering 79 laws for the sake of attracting foreign investment.
The House of Representatives began deliberating the draft law last week. This is despite the fact that many groups have opposed the law because it will undermine the rights of ordinary people and create even more difficulties for workers, farmers and fisherpeople. (dhf/fra)
[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was "YLBHI Kritik Omnibus Law Soal Penggusuran Lahan Warga".]