Social media figure lambasted for standing on MRT seat

This picture uploaded to Instagram of jet ski athlete Aqsa Aswar (left) standing on a seat in an MRT car on Jan 28 has sparked outrage online.
PHOTO: The Jakarta Post/Asia News Network

He was invited to ride aboard a trial run of the Jakarta MRT to help promote the soon-to-be opened service, but social media celebrity Aqsa Aswar has instead faced criticism for what many consider inappropriate behaviour.

During the trip, Aqsa and other young celebrities took pictures and videos to upload to social media. However, a photo of Aqsa, a jet ski athlete, standing on a seat while hanging on the handgrips has triggered outrage online.

Many condemned Aqsa's action, saying his behaviour could set a bad example for young commuters.

"Are these what we call influencers? Please don't copy them, dear Jakartans. Share this picture if you care," Instagram user @claudyatobing said.

Responding to the controversy, PT MRT Jakarta Muhamad Kamaludin said that he disapproved of Aqsa's actions.

"We invited these influencers to join a trial run so that they could disseminate good news about our new service to their followers," Kamaludin said on Tuesday as quoted by

"Before heading to the MRT station [in Lebak Bulus, South Jakarta], we had outlined procedures for riding the MRT. There are six cars, our staff were mostly in the third car while the picture was taken in the sixth car," he added.

Kamaludin also said that a staff member, who saw Aqsa from afar, had approached him and told him not to post the picture on social media. However, the 21-year-old reportedly insisted, sparking the controversy.

Aqsa responded by posting an apology to defend his behaviour. He wrote, "I'm writing to explain that there has been a misunderstanding regarding what I did during my visit to the MRT train. The MRT staff did not say such an act was prohibited. However, I apologise if my act was deemed inappropriate. Thank you."