Violators of wage regulation liable to prison sentence

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Businessmen who paid their employees below the regional minimum wage (UMR) in Indonesia are liable to one-year prison sentence, a top justice official said.

Speaking to ANTARA here on Wednesday, Indonesia`s Supreme Court (MA) Justice Gayus Lumbuun said the court`s one-year sentence given to Tjia Christina Chandra with a fine of Rp100 million is a lesson form to other entrepreneurs who committed violations of the UMR regulation.

Tjia, a businessman coming from Surabaya, the capital of East Java, who has 53 employees, paid his workers lower than the UMR standard.

The Chairman of Panel of Judges, Zaharuddin, in the company of two members of judges Prof. Dr. Surya Jaya and Prof. Dr. Gayus Lumbunn, meted out a verdict to Tjia for the violation of human rights.

"The verdict is a minimum punishment the court pronounced to him against his violation and practically this is exactly the first court trial to this case for Indonesia," Gayus said.

Furthermore, Gayus revealed that the sentence was mostly based on the principle of manipulation of affairs called Misbruik van Omstandigheden in Dutch.

Gayus admitted that Supreme Court Justices had made a controversial sentence to most entrepreneurs in Indonesia which mostly had classical financial problems within the prolonged recession of the year.

In a previous trial held in Surabaya, presiding judge of district court had acquitted him from the sentence in the case of violation. Base on the verdict, the public prosecutor filed an appeal to the higher court and the appeal was granted, thus passing on the case to Supreme Court Trial in Jakarta. (*)