SEA Games: Oops! Malaysia upsets Indonesia with flag blunder

Imam Nahrawi had expressed his regrets on the matter via his Twitter account yesterday and Khairy had replied through Twitter to apologise apart from stating the mistake was unintended.

As the Indonesian flag was printed upside down in souvenir guidebook of the Southeast Asian Games, Indonesia accused the Malaysian organisers of negligence.

President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo demanded an apology for hurt national pride but also cautioned against exaggerating the incident with his neighbour.

"We would like to sincerely apologise to the people of Indonesia for the inadvertent error of publishing the wrong flag for Indonesia", SEA Games organisers said in a statement.

"We hope these mistakes don't get repeated because flags are important symbols for each country and should be respected", he said.

He spoke to reporters after witnessing the handing-over of duties to the new Johor police chief Mohd Khalil Kader Mohd by his predecessor, Wan Ahmad Najmuddin Mohd, who will be the new federal police Criminal Investigation Department director.

His Malaysian counterpart Khairy Jamaluddin has issued an apology, while also stressing that the error was unintentional.


The blunder came to light at Saturday's opening ceremony in Kuala Lumpur, where the souvenir was handed out to dignitaries - including Indonesia's Sports Minister Imam Nahrawi, who tweeted a picture of the offending page.

Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Anifah Aman (pix) offered assurances that measures had been taken to address the unfortunate situation.

This year, Indonesia and Malaysia celebrate the 60th anniversary of diplomatic relations.

"I hope the Indonesian government will accept our apology in the spirit of friendship and continue to build strong ties between the two countries".

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

The online media today quoted the Indonesian president as saying that although the matter was regrettable, people in the country should not overplay the issue.


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