Indonesian students endangering large demonstration if President Joko Widodo not immediately sign a government regulation in lieu of law of the controversial Corruption Eradication Commission bill - Photo by the President Office

JAKARTA (TheInsiderStories) – Indonesian students endangering large demonstration if President Joko Widodo not immediately sign a government regulation in lieu of law of the controversial Corruption Eradication Commission (CEC) bill. They give the head of states times until October 14 to respond their demands.

“We urge President Joko Widodo to immediately issue a statement that he will sign the government regulation in lieu of anti-graft law as soon as possible before October 14,” said Trisakti University Student President Dino Ardiansyah after meeting the Chief Presidential Staff, Moeldoko, in Jakarta, on Thursday (10/03).

He admitted that along with him numbers of students from various universities met Moeldoko to deliver the seven demands to complete reforms, release of students who were still in jail, the investigation of the perpetrators of a student shooting at Halu Oleo University, in Kendari, Southeast Sulawesi.

They also asked the government to open a dialogue or poll space between Widodo and students. According to him, Moeldoko responded to this demand and would deliver it to the President. However, Ardiansyah stated the government could not confirm whether Widodo’ meeting with students could be held openly.

“We ask that the point is open, all elements of students are presented. Although Mr. Moeldoko has not been able to give a statement whether this is open or not,” said the president.

Furthermore, Ardiansyah dismissed the notion that the student’s movement was divided because he and other students met with Moeldoko. He said that the student’s movement was still solid in guarding the seven demands for reform.

“These are several campuses, in substance the same, but different ways. We are here thinking of starting communication with the government. This is not breaking our movement. We remain solid,” he said.

As a response to the recent alarming student protests regarding the revision of the law that governs the country’s graft buster agency, President Widodo made comments that he is considering revoking the recently passed law revision to calm down the protesters.

His supporting parties, however, are suggesting a legislative review or law amendment at the House of Representatives, or a judicial review at the Constitutional Court, which would take longer and provide more room for lawmakers to negotiate on what to review.

“We strongly rejected the plan. Certainly, five political parties [supporting Widodo] have said issuing the government lieu of law must be the last option because there are many other things that we need to pay attention to,” the Secretary-General of Persatuan Pembangunan Party Arsul Sani told reporters in Jakarta on Monday (10/01).

The Demokrasi Indonesia Perjuangan Party (PDIP), the largest political party in the ruling coalition and main supporter of the law amendment, said it would take a lot of work to halt the implementation of the revised CEC Law.

The PDIP also believes that ensuring the effectiveness of the law should be a priority before changing it again.

“Especially when the President and the lawmakers have agreed on the revision, revoking it through a new law is not quite the right thing,” PDI-P secretary-general Hasto Kristiyanto said, citing that the party believed Widodo would keep his commitment to making corruption eradication “fairer” by maintaining the CEC Law.

In the past few days, Indonesia has been witnessing its largest student movement since 1998, which brought down then-president Soeharto. The protests, against new laws, have turned violent in several places with more than 300 hurt in Jakarta alone, and the two dead in Kendari on the island of Sulawesi. The police said at least 200 people had been arrested since the protests began.

The students have seven demands in total encompassing several issues. It’s included to reject the criminal code bill, mineral mining bill, land bill, correctional procedures bill, and labor bill; revoke CEC law and natural resources law; pass sexual violence bill and domestic workers bill.

Then, remove problematic CEC leaders picked by the House of Representatives. Ban Indonesian military and national police personnel from holding civilian offices.

Furthermore, end militarism in Papua and other regions and immediately free Papuan political prisoners. They also shouted to end the prosecution of activists.

Also, they demand to end the burning of forests in Kalimantan and Sumatra and punish corporations responsible for fires and revoke their permits. Resolve human rights violations and put human rights violators on trial, including those at the highest levels of government; immediately restore the rights of victims.

Written by Lexy Nantu, Email: lexy@theinsiderstories.com