In conservative Indonesia, public displays of affection (aka PDA) are not just frowned upon, they could potentially land you in legal trouble, particularly if somebody decides to record your PDA and turn it into a viral video.
In one video that went viral recently, a version of which was uploaded by a gossip account on Instagram, a couple – both of whom appear to be in their 20s – can be seen sitting in the priority seats aboard one of Jakarta's KRL Commuterline trains. The woman appears to be resting one of her legs on her man's lap while they talk, hold hands and occasionally bring their faces close together.
"This happened when I was on the way to Rangkasbitung. They probably felt like they were in Mexico," reads the caption on the video, which appears to have been taken from an Instagram story post.
Another video also recently went viral for depicting a similar situation: a young couple on a KRL Commuterline who could not resist cuddling on board.
The couples in the videos have been widely criticized by Indonesian netizens, but that could end up being the least of their problems.
While the PDA shown in the videos is relatively mild – at least by our standards – the couples could potentially face legal consequences. As written in Article 281 of Indonesia's Criminal Code (KUHP), an act that could be categorized as deliberately and openly violating morality can be punished by up to two years and eight months in prison.
In light of the viral videos, KRL Commuterline operator PT Kereta Commuter Indonesia (KCI) urged passengers to keep their hands to themselves while on the train.
"We continue to raise awareness about (train etiquette), including on social media. Behavior like this can be considered to be disturbing to other passengers' comfort," KCI spokesperson Anne Purba told Kompas on Tuesday.
Though the couples in the videos have not been identified, Anne urged passengers to report other passengers' for similarly disruptive behavior, including PDA, to train officials.