The country’s tally of confirmed cases reached 336,716, total recoveries at 258,519, and death toll at 11,935. It was ranked 21st on the Worldometer’s COVID-19 list of over 200 countries on Oct 13, 2020.
The country saw an economic contraction of 5.32 percent in the second quarter of 2020. Several million Indonesians became jobless owing to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The nation had to face another burden caused by a political turmoil marked by major rallies on Oct 6-8 and Oct 13, in several cities following the House of Representatives’ (DPR’s) decision to endorse the government-proposed Job Creation Law on Oct 5, 2020.
The government affirmed that every stakeholder, including the representatives of employers, trade unions, academicians, and experts, were involved in drafting the Job Creation Law, Indonesia’s first omnibus law comprising 79 laws. The draft law was also introduced to the public, it stated.
On Oct 9, President Joko Widodo had highlighted numerous benefits of the law intended to boost domestic and foreign investment and create job opportunities for Indonesian workers. The law aims to protect the interests of Indonesian workers and the environment as well as boost the economy.
However, trade unions, students, several university lecturers, and activists hold diverse opinions, as they harbor concerns over the law benefiting companies rather than workers, as it would encourage outsourcing the employment system, allow foreign blue-collar workers to work in Indonesia, and endanger the environment.
Exchange of words continue unabated via mainstream and social media, but no solution lies in sight, as some people, including legislators, affirmed that work was still ongoing on the final draft of the law. When the Parliament endorsed the law, hard copies of the final draft were not distributed to the attending MPs.
"No, (we did not receive hard copies of the final draft). It is not yet completed, but it is already endorsed. What is being endorsed is a ghost bill," Benny Kabur Harman, the Democratic Party legislator, who decided to walk out while the endorsement was ongoing, stated.