SEA Games: Malaysia minister apologises over Indonesia flag error

Elias Hubbard
August 21, 2017

Malaysia has apologised to the Indonesian government, and the republic's president, Joko Widodo, has called on his people not to dwell on the matter.

Indonesia's flag has a red stripe above a white stripe, but it was printed with the white stripe on top, making it look like the flag of Poland.

Malaysia's SEA Games organisers sparked outrage in Indonesia when news of the misprint came to light at Saturday's opening ceremony in Kuala Lumpur.

Indonesian Youth and Sports Minister Imam Nahrawi also expressed dismay, posting pictures of the mistake on his Twitter account.

In the statement, Aman emphasized that "all measures have been taken to address this unfortunate situation" and reassured that "Malaysia places importance to its close and deeply rooted fraternal relations with Indonesia".

Laskar Merah Putih leader Adek Erfil Manurung said the printing of the flag upside-down was something extreme and an insult to Indonesia.

Southeast Asia Games host Malaysia has found itself in hot water after an apparent design flaw in the Games' official booklet drew criticism from Indonesian netizens and government officials. They will also stop the circulation of the previously printed guidebook and will revise a new edition to be circulated in the near future.

"Anifah told me that an official apology would be issued by the Malaysian government to the Indonesian government via their respective Foreign Ministries".

On the blunder made by Malaysian organisers, Indonesia's Olympic Committee chairman Erick Thohir said the mistake showed organisers' negligence.

"Friendship is the greatest legacy in sports, but a mistake in presenting a national identity of a nation is not justified".

"On behalf of Masoc, I have apologised to my counterpart Bapak Imam and here I would also like to say sorry to all the Indonesians over this mistake".

At the London 2012 Olympics, the North Korean women's football team left the field before a game against Colombia after South Korea's flag appeared on big screens inside the stadium.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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