Jakarta – Coordinating Maritime Affairs and Investment Minister Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan has claimed that he was the initiator of the Job Creation Law, saying that he believed the law was necessary to disentangle overlapping bureaucratic regulations.
"To be honest, the Job Creation Law was my idea when I was serving as the coordinating minister for legal, political and security affairs," Luhut said during a public webinar on Wednesday, as quoted by kontan.co.id.
Luhut helmed the ministry for part of President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo's first term, from August 2015 to July 2016, replacing Tedjo Edhy Purdijatno.
The plan to draft an omnibus bill on job creation was only announced to the public during Jokowi's second inauguration speech on Oct. 20, 2019. After winning the 2019 presidential election, Jokowi introduced the idea of working with the House of Representatives to pass a comprehensive law to facilitate investment.
Luhut said the discussion of the omnibus law had started long before Jokowi's speech.
"The way I see it, the country's dozens of regulations are chaotic. [Investment] can't run smoothly," he said, adding that red tape also encouraged corruption.
Luhut said he had, at the time, discussed plans for an omnibus law with current Coordinating Legal, Political and Security Affairs Minister Mahfud MD, former Constitutional Court chief justice Jimly Asshiddiqie, then-Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) deputy chairman Indriyanto Seno Adji and current Agrarian and Spatial Planning Minister Sofyan Djalil.
"Because of one thing or another, the discussion was not resumed until last year when the president started to talk about it again. So the jobs law has gone through a long process. It didn't just happen overnight," he said.
The passage of the Job Creation Law – which critics have said could undermine labor rights and environmental protections – sparked waves of protests in the country. The police noted that by Oct. 8, demonstrations had occurred in all 34 provinces of the country. (aly)