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Government consults Muslim organizations regarding enactment of jobs law amid protests

Jakarta Post - October 19, 2020

Rizki Fachriansyah, Jakarta – The government has consulted the country's most prominent Muslim figures regarding the imminent enactment of the Job Creation Law despite a strong wave of opposition against the controversial law in recent weeks.

Presidential Secretariat deputy head of protocol, press and media Bey Triadi Machmudin said State Secretary Pratikno had held a meeting with the leaders of Indonesia's largest Muslim organizations, Nahdlatul Ulama (NU) and Muhammadiyah, as well as the Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI) to discuss matters related to the implementation of the jobs law.

"The State Secretary has visited NU chairman Said Aqil Siradj at his home. Afterwards, he visited MUI deputy chairman Muhyiddin Junaidi, also at his residence," Bey said on Sunday as quoted by kompas.com.

"The State Secretary has said the government was very open to receiving feedback from all stakeholders,"

Bey added that the government would also discuss the matter with representatives of other vital sectors in the country.

He went on to say that President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo had previously instructed all of his Cabinet members to consider the aspirations voiced by workers, scholars, activists and members of the general public regarding the legislation.

"[A public dialogue] may be held through seminars, workshops, FGDs [focus group discussions], talk shows and other types of media at the government's disposal, including social media," Bey said.

The government and the House of Representatives have faced strong opposition from the public, experts and labor unions following the passing of the Job Creation Law on Oct. 5. Thousands have taken to the street across the country to voice opposition to the law, which many fear will undermine labor rights and environmental protections.

The NU previously opposed the passing of the controversial law, claiming it was "oppressive" and would only benefit the elites.

Similarly, Muhammadiyah also voiced concern about how the government had handled the law, urging the government to "understand the public's psychological state and disappointment" considering the widespread protests and strikes against the law across the country.

The MUI called on the government to reconsider the contentious bill on job creation prior to its passing, particularly with regard to provisions regulating halal certification and the employment of foreign workers. (rfa)

Source: https://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2020/10/19/govt-consults-muslim-organizations-regarding-enactment-of-jobs-law-amid-protests.html