A coalition of non-governmental organizations has said it will seek a judicial review if the House of Representatives passes the investment bill on Thursday.
After nearly a year of deliberation, the House is set to pass into law the bill, which aims to improve the country's investment climate by providing equal treatment for local and foreign investors, along with other incentives.
However, the NGOs are of the opinion that bill, should it be passed into law, would result in more harm than benefit to the country.
"The bill is very harmful and it bears many legal flaws due to the rush in its making," Institute for Global Justice (IGJ) executive director Bonnie Setiawan said Wednesday as the coalition's spokesperson.
The coalition, supported by thousands of workers and farmers, also plans to stage massive protests at various locations across the nation, issue a petition and assemble a rally that will walk from Taman Ria Park, Jakarta, to the House on Thursday.
Aside from the IGJ, the coalition consists of other prominent local and international NGOs, such as the International NGOs' Forum for Indonesian Development, Debt Watch, the Land Reform Consortium, the Indonesian Forum for the Environment and the Indonesian Farmers Union Federation.
Bonnie said that should the House pass the bill as scheduled, the coalition would wait until the President signed the bill before proposing a judicial review to the Constitution Court.
"After the bill is enacted, the President will be given a 30-day period to sign it before it becomes effective. So we expect to propose the judicial review some time in June," he said.
The coalition says that the bill does not represent the interests of the majority of the Indonesian people, and that it only meets the expectations of foreign investors.
The coalition also believes that the bill contradicts the Constitution, especially article 33, point 2, which says, "Branches of production which are important for the state and affect the life of most people shall be controlled by the state."
Supporting the stance of the coalition, Revrisond Baswir, an economist with Gadjah Mada University, said the bill went further than the 1967 Foreign Investment Law in terms of opening up the country to foreign exploitation.
The 1967 law was the first step to opening Indonesia to foreign investment and marked the beginning of the New Order regime.
"The 1967 law even has a clause that says all production lines that cover the lifeline of the people must be closed to foreign investment, which is in line with the constitution. But this bill simply opens all sectors," he said.
One of the many elements of the bill that the coalition is opposing is the time extension given to land cultivation rights (up from 35 years to 95 years), building rights (from 50 years to 80 years) and land usage rights, which used to be determined by local administrations and which now may exist for 70 years.
In response to the coalition, House Commission VI chairman Didik J. Rachbini said that the NGOs clearly misunderstood the articles in the bill.
"Equal treatment for investors is not equal opportunity. Foreign investment can enter many sectors but will be controlled to meet the interests of the nation," he said.
He also said that despite being more open to the free competition that is demanded by global best practices, the bill also protects the conservation of natural resources and small and medium enterprises.