President Jokowi urges flexible, simple laws

President Jokowi with the Judges of the Constitution Court poses at the Constitution Court Building, Jakarta, on Tuesday (28/01/2020). (Photo: Cabinet Secretariat's Doc)

IO, Jakarta – President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) states that in order to catch up with the increasingly rapid changes of the world, Indonesia must be able to simplify existing regulations. He expects the support of everyone to abide by the same vision as the Government. “The great vision is to draft flexible laws, simple laws, competitive and responsive laws in order to realize social justice for all of Indonesia’s citizens as mandated by our Constitution,” he stated during an address given during the Annual Plenary Meeting of the Constitution Court in the Special Capital Region of DKI Jakarta on Tuesday (28/01/2020). 

The President also stated that this rapid change is both a challenge and an opportunity for our nation, as challenges become more complex and competition becomes stiffer every day. Therefore, the President suggests that we establish new, faster, more efficient ways of working. “We must walk faster and be more dynamic. We must simplify. We need to cut down on complexities in order to become a nation with competitiveness at a global level,” he said. 

Our founding fathers formulated the Constitution of 1945 in such a way that it regulates fundamental issues in a timeless manner. “Therefore, we have the opportunity and freedom to draft derivative regulations in such a way that allows us to be constantly ready to respond to the winds of change and win the competition,” Jokowi said. 

He further reiterates the urgency for an Omnibus Law. He believes that Indonesia is already “legally obese” and trimming down is necessary. He believes that the Omnibus Law is a possible solution for simplifying our rules so that we can move faster and be more effective and dynamic. “We suffer from regulatory obesity. Over the years, we have been making too many derivative laws, we are inconsistent and so rigid that we hobble our own legs,” he said. 

The President stated that the Government and the House of Representatives (Dewan Perwakilan Rakyat – “DPR”) must continuously work to develop a supportive legal system, among others by synchronizing many laws into a single law. “Using a single Omnibus Law, we trim down, simplify, and harmonize the provisions of many laws,” Jokowi said. “We are preparing the Taxation and Job Opportunity Creation Omnibus Laws to be submitted to DPR RI soon.” 

The Omnibus Law is not yet popular in Indonesia, but it is frequently implemented in many countries, including the United States and the Philippines. “This is a strategy for reforming our regulations. Hopefully, it will make our laws much simpler, more flexible, responsive, and can help us better face the current era of competition and change,” Jokowi said. 

Other than improving laws, the Government continues to trim the high numbers of other regulations. “It was reported to me that currently there are 8,451 central regulations and 15,985 regional regulations. We suffer from hyper-regulation, from regulatory obesity. We are trapped in the rules of our own making, in the confusion and complexity of our own making,” said the President. 

Therefore, he instructs that all of our regulations – Government Regulations, Presidential Regulations, Ministerial Regulations, Directorate General Regulations, and Regional Regulations – be simplified. “Therefore, we will be quick in coming to a decision and taking action in response to such rapid changes in the world,” he said. 

A number of the Indonesia Onward Cabinet ministers and representatives of political parties attended the Constitution Court’s Plenary Meeting: Coordinating Minister of Political, Legal, and Security Affairs Mahfud MD, Minister of Law and Human Rights Yasonna Laoly, Minister of Religious Affairs Fachrul Razi, Cabinet Secretary Pramono Anung; as well as the Chairman of the Supreme Court Hatta Ali and Speaker of DPR Puan Maharani. Also present were ambassadors and other representatives of our country’s allies. Party representatives include: President of Prosperous Justice Party (Partai Keadilan Sejahtera – “PKS”) Sohibul Iman, General Chairman of the National Mandate Party (Partai Amanat Nasional – “PAN”) Zulkifli Hasan, General Secretary of the Democrat Party Hinca Panjaitan, and General Secretary of People’s Conscience Party (Hati Nurani Rakyat – “Hanura”) Henry Lontung. (Dan)