Jakarta – In the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic faced by the Indonesian people, the House of Representatives (DPR) in the Third Session Period this time stated that it would continue to conduct discussions and approvals of a number of bills (Draft Laws) which became controversial and at the same time received public rejection during this time, such as the Work Creation Bill, the Draft Law Criminal Code (KUHP), the Correctional Draft Bill, including the Mineral and Coal Mining Bill (Minerba).

The public is increasingly surprised by the circulation of a letter of invitation for the House of Representatives Commission VII Work Meeting which will be held next week by Covid-19 Alert Protocol (physically and virtual meeting) with the ranks of the Commission and 5 Ministers (Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources / ESDM, Minister of Home Affairs / Minister of Home Affairs, Minister of Law and Human Rights / Menkumham, Minister of Industry / Minister of Industry and Minister of Finance / Minister of Finance) on Wednesday, April 8, 2020, at the Parliament Building to schedule Level I (one) Talks, namely for Decision Making of the Minerba Mining Bill.

We, a number of community organizations that are members of the Indonesian Civil Society Coalition, urge the Indonesian Parliament to DELAY THE DISCUSSION AND RATIFICATION OF THE MINERBA DRAFT BILL (including the Draft Employment Bill, the Criminal Code Bill and the Penitentiary Bill).

The Minerba Mining Bill should be postponed and endorsed, due to a number of important concerns:

    1. All elements of the nation should focus on handling Covid-19, including Commission 7 of the Indonesian Parliament. At present what the public needs is precisely how the DPR can ensure protection for the poor and marginalized affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. For example: Ensuring the implementation of PLN tariff discounts for 450 VA and 900 VA customers; Ensuring the availability of fuel oil (BBM); The availability of LPG gas, including the need for free distribution of 3 kg LPG for the poor and vulnerable, especially for residents in mining affected areas who have been victims twice; mine impact victims and pandemic victims. Instead of accelerating the discussion and ratification of the Minerba Bill, which is suspected to benefit the corporation only.
    2. In the process, the discussion of the Minerba Bill in the 7th DPR RI Commission is very closed and lacks public participation. In addition to the 7th Commission, the discussion at Panja was also the same. Public involvement both in the Public Hearing Meeting (RDPU), public dialogues, and other official forums conducted by the Working Committee on the Minerba Bill by inviting stakeholders is very minimal, especially for affected communities around the mine, local government producing natural resources, academics, energy observers, Civil Society Organizations, Local Government and others, including the involvement of the DPD in the discussion of the Bill relating to Natural Resources. Based on information received by the public, the Working Committee of the Minerba Bill has completed the discussion of 938 DIM of the Minerba Bill in closed sessions within just a few days. The question is, where is transparency and public participation as required in Law Number 12 of 2011 concerning Formation of Laws and Regulations? The lack of public aspirations and control during the Covid-19 pandemic era can lead to suspicion of being vulnerable to behind-the-scenes “deals” that could only be in the interests of a handful of people.
    3. 3. The House of Representatives Commission 7 may not take advantage of the Covid-19 pandemic period, where people were prohibited from holding meetings, to discuss and ratify the Minerba Bill. If the House of Representatives Commission 7 deliberately utilizes public attention, which is currently working hand in hand to make donations to raise funds and energy, both to help medical needs, as well as helping small communities affected. Therefore, if the Indonesian Parliament actually accelerates the passage of the Mining Law Bill, then it is reasonable to assume that the DPR has indeed lost its conscience and violated the accountability and right of public participation. This unilateral decision without public participation is a violation of the rights of public participation, information disclosure, and social justice.
    4. It should be suspected that the acceleration of the discussion and ratification of the Minerba Bill was due to the extension of a number of large companies holding Coal Mining Concession Work Agreements (PKP2B) that would expire. Moreover, this Minerba Bill, the momentum coincides with the discussion of the Work Copyright Bill and the issuance of Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources Regulation No. 7 of 2020 concerning Procedures for Granting Areas, Licensing, and Reporting on Mineral and Coal Mining Business Activities, which are substantially the same, namely smoothing the automatic extension of a number of PKP2B big coal company. If this suspicion is true, the DPR is more concerned and more siding with the fate of large PKP2B mining concession holders than the fate of medical workers, positive victims of Covid-19, and affected communities who are currently struggling against Covid-19.
    5. Not to mention, there are other articles of the Minerba Bill that are still problematic and do not reflect the people’s safety, state sovereignty as constitutional mandate, human rights, the right to a good and healthy environment and the principle of sustainability, For example:
      • Privileges for Work Contracts and Mining Concession Work Agreements (KK / PKP2B) whose contracts will expire, to extend without having to go through auctions with an area adjusted to the work plan, as well as royalty incentives that could be zero (0) and so on;
      • The disappearance of the criminal article that reaches out to state officials who can legalize mining permit corruption and abuse of authority can continue;
      • Highly pro dirty coal energy and providing excessive incentives for over-exploitation of natural resources, which tend not to pay attention to aspects of ecological importance and environmental protection, as well as to the development of renewable energy and sustainable economic development;
      • Protection and space for community veto rights are not given, namely the right to obtain adequate information and say no to investments and the rights of indigenous peoples, to the safety aspects of citizens and other socio-economic aspects that impact on the community, as well as the potential to be used to criminalize communities that considered “obstructing” mining activities;
      • Ignoring women’s rights, does not guarantee women’s participation rights in decision making in their managed areas. Whereas women experience different and heavier impacts when their management areas are turned into mining areas. Women are prone to experience health problems due to pollution from mining activities, such as reproductive disorders, or respiratory health. In addition, this bill does not make gender justice the principle of this bill. Even though Gender Justice itself is a national development policy directive.

The public always reminds the DPR that the Minerba Bill is a bill which has been controversial and even repeatedly rejected by the public. Call it in the series of wave of mass action #ReformasiDikorupsi during the middle of 2019 ago.

For this reason, we call on the Commission-7 and the DPR RI to:

Stop the discussion and ratification of the Minerba Bill! Focus on handling the Covid-19 pendemic! The safety of the people takes precedence over the interests of the mining corporation!

Jakarta, 3 April 2020

Contact Persons:
Aryanto Nugroho – PWYP Indonesia – aryanto@pwypindonesia.org
Melky Nahar – JATAM – melkynahar@gmail.com

Indonesian Civil Society Coalition:

  1. Publish What You Pay (PWYP) Indonesia
  2. Jaringan Advokasi Tambang (JATAM)
  3. Lokataru
  4. Auriga Nusantara
  5. Greenpeace Indonesia
  6. Aliansi Masyarakat Adat Nusantara (AMAN)
  7. Trend Asia
  8. JATAM Sulteng
  9. Genesis Bengkulu
  10. Konsorsium Pembaruan Agraria (KPA)
  11. Lembaga Studi dan Advokasi Masyarakat (ELSAM)
  12. Yayasan Lembaga Bantuan Hukum Indonesia (YLBHI)
  13. HuMa
  14. JATAM Kaltim
  16. Puskatra Indonesia
  17. IDEA Yogyakarta
  18. Sajogyo Institute
  19. Wahana Lingkungan Hidup Indonesia (WALHI)
  20. Perhimpunan Pembela Masyarakat Adat Nusantara (PPMAN)
  21. Epistema Institute
  22. Konfederasi Pergerakan Rakyat Indonesia (KPRI)
  23. Indonesia for Global Justice (IGJ)
  24. Aksi Ekologi & Emansipasi Rakyat (AEER)
  25. Kolegium Jurist Institute (KJI)
  26. Transparency International (TI) Indonesia]
  27. Institute for Essential Services Reform (IESR)
  28. Yayasan Srikandi Lestari
  29. org Indonesia
  30. WALHI Sumatera Barat
  31. EcoNusa
  32. Indonesian Center for Environmental Law (ICEL)
  33. Kanopi Hijau Indonesia
  34. Indonesia Corruption Watch
  35. Badan Eksekutif Mahasiswa (BEM) Keluarga Mahasiswa Universitas Padjajaran (Unpad)
  36. Eksekutif Mahasiswa Universitas Brawijaya
  37. Koalisi Rakyat untuk Keadilan Perikanan (KIARA)
  38. Pusat Studi Hukum dan Kebijakan Indonesia (PSHK)
  39. Yayasan Pusaka Bentala Rakyat
  40. Solidaritas Perempuan
  41. Rimbawan Muda Indonesia