Malaysian FM Apologizes to Indonesia for Flag Blunder

Ann Santiago
August 22, 2017

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".

Malaysia's foreign ministry and the Games organisers apologised profusely for the gaffe, but it was not enough to quell a wave of complaints online, with #ShameOnYouMalaysia becoming Indonesia's top trending topic on Twitter.

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

On Twitter, Indonesians said their flag represents the sacrifices of independence heroes and accused Malaysia of either being stupid or deliberately misprinting it.

Imam's tweet received a prompt response from his Malaysian counterpart, Khairy Jamaluddin, who apologized through the social media platform and said "absolutely no malice was intended".

"We very much regret the mistake and trust the strong bond between the two countries will further strengthen in the spirit of the SEA Games", they added.


The 10-minute meeting held at Hotel Shangri-La in Kuala Lumpur was also attended by Indonesia's National Olympics Committee (KOI) head Erick Thohir and Indonesia's Chef-de-Mission Aziz Syamsuddin.

Malaysian police are investigating the matter.

"However, we ask that no more problems like this happen in the future".

The 27 websites now show photos of the upside-down Indonesian flag as appeared in the commemorative magazine of the regional sporting event, with a message underneath them that translates to, "Our nation's flag is not a plaything".

Brunei has also had its flag misused after organisers used the flag of the Brunei military rather than the country when awarding synchronised swimmers Jacqueline Lim and Nur Hafizah Ahmad their medals, according to a report from Agence France Presse.

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