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Jakarta protesters say flag wilfully printed upside down

Free Malaysia Today logo Free Malaysia Today 21/8/2017 FMT Reporters
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PETALING JAYA: Hundreds of followers of various Indonesian organisations gathered to protest outside the Malaysian high commission’s premise in Jakarta today.

They accused the organisers of the Kuala Lumpur SEA Games 2017 of deliberately depicting their national flag upside down in a souvenir booklet distributed during the games’ official opening on Saturday.

“We deem Malaysia to have gone too far. This cannot be let go. It has shamed our people,” Adek Ervil Manurung, head of the Laskar Merah Putih movement, was quoted by the Berita Satu news portal as saying.

He said the Malaysian police should investigate the incident even though open apologies had been tendered by Putrajaya and the organising committee to the Indonesian government and people yesterday.

“This case should be pursued until there is a conviction,” he said.

News on the upside-down image of the flag began to spread on Saturday during the opening of the games at the Bukit Jalil National Stadium. The two-coloured flag was depicted with the red stripe at the bottom of the white stripe, making it resemble the flag of Poland.

Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin immediately directed that further distribution of the flawed souvenir booklet be stopped and fresh copies be printed with the correction done.

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The Malaysia SEA Games Organising Committee (Masoc), in a statement, apologised to all Indonesians over the unintentional mistake.

Khairy also tendered an apology to his counterpart when he made a special call on Indonesian Youth and Sports Minister Imam Nahrawi yesterday.

Indonesian president Joko Widodo also weighed in on the matter, saying that while the flag blunder was regrettable, the issue should not be blown out of proportion.

The gestures have however failed to appease several quarters, including Indonesian politicians and NGOs who have called for stern action to be taken by Malaysia.

Meanwhile, Bernama reported that Adek and two other representatives of the demonstrators were allowed into the high commission complex to hand over a memorandum of protest which was received by deputy high commissioner Zamshari Shaharan.

Earlier today, unidentified hackers hit dozens of Malaysian websites in protest against the flag error.

Visitors who clicked on the affected websites found themselves re-routed to another website which showed the message “My national flag is not a toy”.

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