Prior to the pandemic, Pres. Joko Widodo had hoped to invest in improving Indonesia’s human resources and infrastructures, as means to boost economic growth. Yet such plans are now on hold and are to be replaced by initiatives to lure foreign investors by deregulating the country’s environmental laws. The drastic decision to do so is regarded by many as a panic reaction to the substantial contractions in the country’s economy.
Global reports about COVID-19 statistics reveal the Indonesia has the highest number active COVID-19 cases in Southeast Asia while new cases continue to add up. Aside from foreign investments, a large part of Indonesia’s economy relies on consumer spending.Inasmuch as the coronavirus is still spreading throughout the country, consumer spending has been suppressed due to increased unemployment and restrictions on regional movements
A Quick Look at Indonesia’s Forthcoming Economic Recovery Plan
Included as a critical part of Indonesia’s economic recovery plan is a proposed legislation to ease out environmental regulations to make it easier for foreign investors to set up their business in Indonesia. According to reports, as many as 79 reversals of environmental regulatory polices are included in a proposed omnibus law, including liberating provincial governments from the rule of maintaining 30% of respective forest cover. The purpose of which is to make it easier for zone developments to take place in coastal areas.
Although there are those who oppose the bill as unconstitutional, it is largely expected to pass this October. If that is the case, a post COVID-19 scenario will leave Indonesia in a less greener state. Once passed, the proposed omnibus laws will also expand the powers of the president.
Indonesian Lawmakers Still Adamant on Legalizing Online Gambling as Potential Source of Income
While indonesian lawmakers are about to propose an omnibus law that will turn Indonesia’s natural environment less green, they remain adamant on the prospects of legalizing online gambling in the country. Although a predominantly Muslim country to which Islamic laws prevail in banning gambling for all Indonesians regardless of religion, lawmakers are still not considering offshore online gambling sites as potential sources of revenues.
In the meantime, the country’s Ministry of Communication and Information Technology (MCIT) has ordered local Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to block access to foreig-based gambling websites. Yet such actions have not effectively prevented Indonesia’s non-Muslim gamblers to engage in wagering activities in online casino and sports betting sites.
Sometime in July 2020, the MCIT announced plans of developing a search engine dedicated to releasing web crawlers designed to actively seek out online sportsbook and casinos. In a meeting with members of the House of Representatives, MCIT’s Information Applications Director General Pangerapan was able to convince lawmakers about the ministry’s plan of developing a crawler machine; proposing a 2021 budget allocation of 1 trillion Indonesian rupiahs (USD69.5 million) to fund the anti-gambling search engine.
However, lawmakers should understand that most Indonesian online gamblers no longer access the Judi Online Resmi of licensed gambling operators by way of public networks. The safer trend in modern online gambling is by way of mobile applications that run on Virtual Private Networks (VPN), which not only hides IP addresses but also renders all communication untraceable.