Ghina Ghaliya, Jakarta – President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo has pledged to produce policies that protect human rights and the environment, noting that speed and accuracy should not be exchanged for "carelessness and arbitrariness".
Dressed in traditional Sabu attire from East Nusa Tenggara, the President delivered the speech during an annual state of the nation address before members of the country's executive, legislative and judicial branches at the House of Representatives compound in Senayan, Central Jakarta, on Friday.
He said high flexibility and simple bureaucracy should never be achieved by sacrificing legal certainty, anticorruption efforts and democracy. "All policies must focus on environmental friendliness and promote the protection of human rights," he said.
Jokowi went on to say that the government had always made serious efforts of corruption eradication and added that measures to prevent corruption had be intensified through simple, transparent and efficient governance.
"The law must be enforced without discrimination. The upholding of democratic values cannot be compromised. Democracy must continue without disrupting the speed of work and legal certainty, as well as the noble values of our nation," he said.
With his speech, Jokowi appears to respond to criticism over how his government has pressed ahead with the deliberation of controversial bills, including the omnibus bill on jobs.Critics of the bill said some of its provisions would dismantle the protection of workers and laws to protect the environment.
On Thursday, the National Commission on Human Rights (Komnas HAM) urged the President and the House of Representatives to stop the deliberation of the bill, one of the President's flagship legislation efforts, saying it had the potential to violate human rights.
Komnas HAM said it had found several areas of concern, including the potential rolling back of worker protections, the expansion of central government powers and threats to environmental protection, and that the bill's criminal provisions would unfairly benefit the rich.
Also on Thursday, labor groups said they planned to hold a massive protest in front of the House compound to demand that the government and House stop the deliberation of the bill. They would still stage the protest despite agreeing with the House to form a team with members of the working committee of the bill, which is aimed at finding common ground on changes to the 2003 Labor Law proposed in the bill.
The labor groups and the lawmakers are set to hold the team's first meeting on Aug. 18, according to the Confederation of Indonesian Trade Unions (KSPI).
A member of the House Legislative Body (Baleg), Hendrawan Supratikno, said lawmakers had resolved the deliberation of 75 percent of the draft, explaining that public hearings during the House's recess period had been quite effective in smoothing matters out.
"It will be passed before the next recess [of the current sitting period] on Oct. 9," said the politician of the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P).