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Publicity stunt: Indonesia leader gets lift from motorbike skit

A motorbike stuntman posing as Widodo, known as 'Jokowi', leapt off a ramp and pulled other tricks in Jakarta's streets before riding into the Gelora Bung Karno stadium and disappearing into the basement.

An actor impersonating Indonesian President Joko Widodo waves while riding a motorbike during the opening ceremony of the 2018 Asian Games at the Gelora Bung Karno main stadium in Jakarta on 18 August, 2018. Picture: AFP

JAKARTA - President Joko Widodo found himself flavour of the month on social media on Sunday as Indonesians lapped up his motorbike stunt skit at the Asian Games opening ceremony.

A motorbike stuntman posing as Widodo, known as 'Jokowi', leapt off a ramp and pulled other tricks in Jakarta's streets before riding into the Gelora Bung Karno stadium and disappearing into the basement.

Widodo then walked out of an elevator and took his seat in the VIP section, prompting laughter and cheers in the stadium and a favourable reaction on social media.

"I nearly cried, Koreans are calling Jokowi oppa (brother) after watching him riding the bike, and now they want him to give them a ride," one Twitter user posted, while another likened him to a Hollywood star.

"It seems like Jokowi will star in the next sequel of Mission Impossible," read the tweet.

Widodo, 57, who was also spotted gyrating in his seat to music during the ceremony, joked about the motorbike video sequence with his 10 million followers on Twitter.

"Who was riding the bike? Manoeuvring and doing stops and arriving on time at GBK last night? hehehe," he tweeted.

The Asian Games, declared open by Widodo at the ceremony on Saturday, features 18,000 athletes and officials and is being held in Jakarta and Palembang.