JAKARTA, Oct 9 (Reuters) - Indonesian President Joko Widodo
came under increasing pressure to repeal his new controversial
jobs law on Friday, with union and Muslim groups preparing to
challenge it in court and some regional leaders publicly
opposing the legislation.
The president, widely known by his popular name Jokowi,
defended the law, saying demonstrations that have seen thousands
of people across the world's fourth-most populous nation take to
the streets in sometimes violent protests this week were fuelled
by disinformation in social media.
Jokowi says the "omnibus" jobs creation bill, passed into
law on Monday, will boost Indonesia's ailing economy by cutting
red tape and attracting more foreign direct investment.
Protesters say the law undermines labour rights and weakens
The KSPI labour group, among the organisers of three-day
protests and national strikes that ended on Thursday, is
preparing to lodge a case against the law in the Constitutional
Court, the group's president Said Iqbal said in a statement.
Nahdlatul Ulama, Indonesia's biggest Muslim group with
millions of followers, would also challenge the law in the
court, it said in its official Twitter account.
Clashes erupted in some cities on Thursday, including in the
capital Jakarta where protesters burnt public transport
facilities and damaged police posts.
At least six provincial governors have said they would pass
on protesters' demands to the president or publicly opposed the
Repealing the law would prevent further clashes "that could
create prolonged instability amid a pandemic and an economic
recession", West Kalimantan Governor Sutarmidji said in a
In a televised address, the president said Indonesia
urgently needed to create more jobs for its young population,
adding that the law would also help those laid off during the
"I've emphasized we need the Job Creation Law ... because
every year there are 2.9 million young people entering the
labour market," Jokowi said.
Police detained more than 3,800 people nationwide during
rallies that have at times turned violent this week, including
students, workers and unemployed people, spokesman Argo Yuwono
said in a news conference.
There were smaller protests on Friday in several cities on
Java and Sumatra islands, according to local media.
Trade union KSBSI called on its members to launch another
wave of protests from Oct. 12 to 16, while some other labour
groups are set to consolidate their next move over the weekend,
union leaders said.
(Additional reporting by Angie Teo and Agustinus Beo Da Costa;
Editing by Michael Perry and Alex Richardson)