The Jakarta Post
For Indonesia, the start of the 29th edition of the Southeast Asian (SEA) Games, which opened in Kuala Lumpur on Aug. 19, was tainted by an incident involving its national flag, for which the sports minister has said he is still awaiting an official apology.
The "flag incident" involved the misprinting of the Indonesian flag in the opening ceremony’s guidebook. The affectionately dubbed Red-and-White was placed upside down, with the white atop the red.
Youth and Sports Minister Imam Nahrawi spotted the error and immediately expressed his disappointment on his official @imam_nahrawi Twitter account, demanding an official apology from the Malaysian government.
“The SEA Games 2017 opening ceremony has been tainted with great carelessness that hurts our feelings. Our flag...the Red and White…Astaghfirullaaah…,” wrote Imam in Indonesian.
A netizen responded to Imam’s tweet, and Malaysia’s Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin later acknowledged the error with an apology through his official Twitter account, @Khairy Jamaluddin.
“Bapak Imam, please accept my sincere apologies for this,” Khairy tweeted, adding in Malay that there was no "malicious intent" and that he was "very upset" over the mistake.
In response, Imam said he appreciated the gesture, but given the gravity of the error, an official apology from the Malaysian government was required, not just an apology via social media.
“We still demand an official apology, because our flag is important to us. It is our pride and dignity as a nation,” he told The Jakarta Post on Saturday, adding that further action would be taken regarding the error.