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Friday, May 24, 2024

Indonesian President Quietly Signs Divisive Bill Into Law Overnight

BANGKOK — Late on Monday night, President Joko Widodo of Indonesia quietly signed into law a divisive stimulus bill that has sent hundreds of thousands of Indonesians to the streets in protest.

The omnibus law was first pitched as a vital jobs-creation effort that would resuscitate Southeast Asia’s largest economy, slashing red tape and clearing a thicket of regulations that have discouraged investment.

But when they woke up on Tuesday, few Indonesians knew exactly what was in the new law, which had suddenly expanded from 812 to 1,187 pages. Inconsistencies abounded: Article 6 of 186, for instance, referred to an article 5(1) that was nowhere to be found.

“This is the worst legislative process that I know of in Indonesia history,” said Bivitri Susanti, a lecturer at the Jentera School of Law in Jakarta, the Indonesian capital. “There has never been such a mess.”

Indonesia has…

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