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Flag Faux Pas Stains SEA Games as #ShameOnYouMalaysia Goes Viral

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.

The booklet included a page paying homage to previous hosts, including Indonesia, with the famous merah putih printed upside – the flag of Poland.

Photos of the booklet went viral after Indonesia’s Sports Minister Imam Nahrawi? tweeted it, with #ShameOnYouMalaysia trending on Twitter and Malaysia’s Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin paying a special visit to the Indonesian delegation in Kuala Lumpur to apologise.

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.

Malaysia, who is hosting the Games this month in Kuala Lumpur, is apparently embarrassed and apologetic over the incident.

“We would like to extend our apology to the government and the people of the Republic of Indonesia,” a foreign ministry statement said.

“In this regard, we wish to assure the government of the Republic of Indonesia that all measures have been taken to address this unfortunate situation.”

Image credits: Sports Minister Imam Nahrawi

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