The Situation Update on Coronavirus Crisis in Indonesia

We are afraid of Corona Virus, but we also afraid of starving. Pay our wages!
  • The first two positive corona virus cases were announced by the government on 3 March, then the positive corona virus cases have reached 6,248 cases with 532 deaths on 19 April 2020. Indonesian Doctors Association believed the number of deaths has doubled due the test numbers are low.
  • The number of funerals in Jakarta (the capital city with the highest Covid-19 cases) reached 4,377 funeral in March. It increased from 2,459 funerals in February and 3,009 funerals in January.
  • Since the beginning, the government refused to lockdown and only called for social distancing. Schools were closed and workers were only asked to work from home. The government seemed avoiding the lockdown since the Health Quarantine Act oblige the government provide the basic needs for the citizens.
  • The police became the first government agency announced crowds ban, including demonstrations and strikes. On March 29, AICE workers were forced to stop strikes.
  • On 1 April, the government issued Government Regulation concerning large-scale social restrictions and allocated fund IDR. 450 trillion (US$ 30 billion, 1 US$=IDR. 15,000) for addressing the Covid-19 crisis.
  • According to the Health Quarantine Act, one of the actions must be taken in large-scale social restrictions is dismissing the workers for temporary. However, many companies have applied for permission to the Ministry of Industry to continue working. Most manufacturing workers work as usual. The Ministry of Manpower issued a circular letter that regulate the wage payment for stopping working because of the Covid-19 depend on the agreement between employer and the workers.
  • The government also issued Perppu (Regulation in Lieu of Law) No. 1/2020 and Perpress (President Regulation) No. 54/2020) which ensure the use of budget to address corona-virus is not considered as a state loss in any circumtances. The regulation also cannot be sued in the State Administrative Court because it is not catagorised as a disputed object.
  • Meanwhile, the House of Representatives are still continue legislative process for Omnibus Law on Job Creation legalisation which will end the law recognition on job security and legalise contractual and outsourcing work practices without limitation, reduce severance pay and lower maternity rights.
  • On 11 April 2020, the Police announced there will be looting by anarcho-syndicalist groups on 18 April 2020. The authorities spreaded the horror of riots and tried to make anarcho-syndicalist groups as the scapegoat. On 15 April, the police even arrested a guy named Pius with a big A tatto on his chest and he claimed himself as a leader of anarcho-syndicalist group. People laughed at this made-up story as too obviously fake. Then the police had to admit that Pius was a helmet thief. (See the image here)
  • Since the beginning of the pandemic, medical workers have experienced hard situations due to lack of personal protective equipment (PPE). Because out of stock, many of them use raincoats as the PPE. PPE is imported abroad since the demand is very high.
  • The Indonesian Central Bureau of Statistics just released information on the increased weapons purchase from abroad to US $ 187.1 million in March 2020 from US $ 2.5 million in February 2020. As a comparison, throughout 2019, the value of weapon imports was US $ 120.1 million.

Updated April 25, 2020

  • On April 22, 2020, three students in Malang, East Java, were arrested as suspects by the police under Article 160 of the Indonesian Criminal Code concerning sedition. Alfian, Saka Ridho and Fitron were accused of damaging property (vandalims) by graffiti action against capitalism (The police consider the motive of provocation against capitalism as sedition). The graffiti action was happened on April 4, 2020, but the investigation was carried out recently as the police were tryring to frame anarcho groups.
  • A worker of PT Yamah Music Mfg Indonesia company with Covid-19 positive was reported. The company is one of the companies that obtained an operating permit from the Ministry of Industry. Two days after, the worker was reported dead due his complications. The pandemic will take more lives of manufacturing workers because they are still required working, it is proven.
  • On April 23, 2020, Ravio Patra, a policy researcher and advocate, was mysteriously arrested by the police which connected with a circulated message on WhatsApp: THE CRISIS, IT’S TIME TO BURN! LET’S GATHER AND ENLIVE THE NATIONAL LOOTING ACTION ON 30 APRIL SIMULTANEOUSLY, ALL SHOPS ARE NEAR US, FREE LOOTED”. Around 14.00 pm, the day before, Ravio’s WhatsApp account was hacked and used by another phone. He got a message: “You’ve registered your number on another phone.” After he was arrested, he could not be contacted either by his family or lawyer. The effort finding him at Polda Metro Jaya police station was very difficult and took long time. After the lawyers found him, then he was released on April 24, as a witness. During the interrogation, his status was changed from a witness to a suspect, the back turned to a witness.
  • It seems that the authority’s efforts to deal with corona virus spreading will fail and be resulting dissatisfaction and anger from people, so it requires distraction by spreading fear. Meanwhile, more and more the poorest, especially the poor in Jakarta, cannot afford to pay rent for rooms/houses and have to sleep on the streets.

(This page will be updating)

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