Malaysia has apologized to Indonesia for printing the country's national flag upside down in the official program handed out at the opening of this year's Southeast Asian Games. (Reuters Photo/Edgar Su)

Malaysia Apologizes to Indonesia Over Flag Blunder at SEA Games


AUGUST 20, 2017

Kuala Lumpur/Jakarta. Malaysia has apologized to Indonesia over the upside down printing of the Indonesian flag in a souvenir guidebook handed out at the opening of the Southeast Asian Games.

The mistake, spotted at the opening of the games in the Malaysian capital, Kuala Lumpur, on Saturday (19/08) sparked an outcry in Indonesia and the hashtag #ShameOnYouMalaysia was trending on social media.

President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo told reporters in Jakarta that the incident concerned "national pride," and had called for an apology.

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

His Malaysian counterpart, Khairy Jamaluddin, tweeted an apology and was expected to meet Indonesia's delegation to formally apologize on Sunday.

Indonesia's flag has two horizontal bands with red on the top and white underneath. Turning it upside down, makes it look like Poland's flag.

The Malaysian organizing committee also apologized saying it had been "an inadvertent error."

The flag blunder was the latest in a series of embarrassing incidents at the regional sports meet.

Last week, a bus driver ferrying the Myanmar women's football team was arrested on suspicion of stealing a watch and for not possessing a driver's license.