Re-evaluating Job Creation Regulation in SARDEIN Vol. 2
Student Intern, ACICIS - Center for World Trade Studies Universitas Gadjah Mada.
Lukas Andri Surya Singarimbun
Website Manager, Center for World Trade Studies Universitas Gadjah Mada.
Center for World Trade Studies (CWTS) UGM, together with the Suryakanta Institute, and Sociology Student Families (KMS), held Volume 2 of the Sarasehan* of Indonesian Economic Democracy (SARDEIN) on February, 28th 2023. This event, held in Fisipol UGM’s East Seminar room, carried the theme of “Improving Job Creation Regulations in National Investment Projections”. The discussion was attended by guest speakers Dr. Zainal Arifin Mochtar, Dr. Rangga Almahendra, and Ardy Syihab, with the discussion guided by Head of CWTS UGM, Dr. Riza Noer Arfani.
Dr. Zainal Arifin Mochtar, both a legal expert and lecturer at UGM’s Faculty of Law, said that there is currently a weakening of oversight towards the Indonesian government. Autocratic legalism was cited as an observable symptom of the lapse in political and legal oversight. In addition to Job Creation regulations, Dr. Zainal also conveyed the importance of monitoring the formulation of new regulations because there remains the potential for undesirable precedents, which would hinder the progress of Indonesia’s democratic legal and political systems. A key point of the presentation was that while increased levels of investment and economic progress are important for Indonesia, they should not be pursued in a way that prevents the advancement of democracy.
Discussions continued with Dr. Rangga Almahendra, lecturer at UGM’s Faculty of Business and Economics, underlining the increasing prevalence of uncertainty caused by Jo Creation regulations. Continuing, Dr. Rangga explained that because Indonesia’s economic foundation is fragile and reliant on other countries, the government should focus on its improvement. Because of the importance of the Job Creation regulations it is vital that they are reviewed to ensure an increase in employment opportunities, rather than serving only the interests of employers.
The positions shared by Dr. Zainal and Dr. Rangga were endorsed by Ardy Syihab, who represented Merdeka Sejahtera Union (Semesta). Ardy made a point of rejecting a number of items from the Job Creation regulations that increase uncertainty for, or could potentially harm, Indonesia's workforce. Examples included regulations regarding layoffs, long leave, and the increasing openness of labor positions for foreign workers. In line with the preceding discussion, Ardy also emphasized the importance of questioning who will benefit from the accelerating levels of investment into Indonesia. In particular, Ardy highlighted that without appropriate regulation, the wealth created by this investment would likely not be enjoyed by society at large, instead leaving workers more disadvantaged.
* Sarasehan (in Bahasa) is a semi-formal type of discussion between experts and audiences upon certain issues.