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Omnibus: Do we believe it will be passed into law, or not?

Posted by Jaya Sriwijaya on 13th March 2020
Written by Terje H Nilsen

As you all know, I am always utterly positive, even in these corona madness times. It’s a mindset thing, possibly also a so-called “worldview” that is impossible to change even with facts. I explain this to people when I meet them either privately or in various seminars, that something went “wrong” in my head at some stage. Because even though I stand 196cm tall, weigh about 99,9kg with Viking blood running through my veins, I hear, see and feel like an Indonesian. Perhaps because I have been here for, give or take 27 years, or maybe because I enjoy eating durian and all kinds of Indonesian food (not wild animals though). I believe this gives me a unique viewpoint to understand Indonesia as an Indonesian. Therefore, I comprehend what goes on in a different way. I analyze Indonesia based on their mindset, culture, law, and emotions. And not through a tedious western university political/financial analytical view. Don’t get me wrong, that’s all good and valuable, but I can dig more in-depth as to what is really happening, why, and for what purpose.

I believe strongly in Omnibus law and now recently announced a few other supporting regulations that would consist of 36 government regulations and seven presidential decrees. I post actively on social media and often see disbelief in changes, or at least drastic changes. I understand some of these aspects are based on negative experiences and such. But there are some I don’t understand, and to me, seem to be based on less factual opinions. I respect them all and take it in and enjoy the conversations we have around it. Hence why I’ve decided to list below a few key facts as to why I personally believe in it.

One of the main reasons why I think it will go through is because President Jokowi controls about 70% plus of the DPR (national assembly).

In the last 4-5 months, we have also seen sizeable international investment companies and press expressing optimism towards Indonesia and the on-going Omnibus law process.

I was then made aware of a recent copy of Forbes magazine.

Which, by the way, was a special edition of 30 under 30, and those stories in itself were from Indonesian entrepreneurs. (I think would help to change most people’s view, but that’s another story.) What got my attention was a few articles. First was by Editor in Chief of Forbes Indonesia Pak Taufik Darusman.

He grades Jokowi’s first 100 days of his second term as “moderately promising.” His view is based on Jokowi’s commitment to continue to develop infrastructure, second his on-going overhaul of nationally owned companies in Indonesian called BUMN. And third, his belief that the Omnibus law will indeed pass. As part of Omnibus law, he talks about the tax benefits coming as well.

Steve Forbes, Editor-in-chief Forbes internationally, is talking in general terms as to how important it is for any country to open up for international trade and not shut down as we see happening in the US. He also brings up a few examples of what he referred to as “parochial protectionism” being well-meant but misplaced.

The magazine also has a brief of Indonesian Mari Elka Pangestu, who is a newly appointed as managing director in WB to run development and policy partnership department. The news about Changi consortium soon to take over Komodo airport. A few significant investments from the UAE and Japan’s SoftBank.

Raj Kannan from Deloitte has an excellent article about AI, and Indonesia’s road map to attract investors in this business and concluding with most companies would want to enter Indonesia sooner rather than later due to its massive market potential.

Jennifer Xue writes about the green new deal and a future of uncertainty. She praises Indonesia’s central government for working hard but sees a lot of resistance at the provincial and regency level. This is a topic in itself for Omnibus and how the central government will manage all permits and regulations (also green policy).

MD of JLL Indonesia and Iwan Margono from EY share their views from a real estate and Banking perspective and both being moderately positive.

The magazine has then 30 under 30 as Indonesia’s young achievers. Most of their success in business is within AI, Fintech, Eco, and sustainable business.

I have said it before and saying now again, Indonesia is on the move, and more than just gaining momentum. So yes, I believe that Omnibus will go through.


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