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Flag mistake: Foreign Ministry extends apology to Indonesian government, people

Flag mistake: Foreign Ministry extends apology to Indonesian government, people

Khairy and Imam Nahrawi (right) at a special media conference to offer sincere apology on the mistake that occurred in the publication of Indonesian flag in the souvenir programme of KL2017 SEA Games official opening ceremony.

President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo also called for an apology but cautioned against exaggerating the incident.

Indonesia's flag has a red stripe above a white stripe, but it was printed with the white stripe on top - which made it look like the flag of Poland.

Khairy is hoping that both the Indonesian public and government will accept the apology and that the two countries will be able to continue their good relations.

Indonesian netizens, still smarting from their upside-down flag printed in the official progamme book, were inflamed again when a newspaper's SEA Games graphic centrespread was found to contain the same mistake.

Meanwhile, Malaysian coach Md Fikri Md Noor said his charges would take a positive approach when facing Thailand, knowing that the Thais are a powerhouse in the sport.

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Clicking on the sites redirects users to a splash page which features the booklet that carried the Indonesian flag upside down, along with a message "Bendera Negaraku Bukanlah Mainan" (My national flag is not for playing).

"Friendship is the greatest legacy in sports, but a mistake in presenting a national identity of a nation is not justified".

"We apologize for affecting the image and reputation of the Republic of Indonesia, as the flag is a symbol of pride", he said after meeting Indonesia's delegation to the games.

"The incident is real and we are doing the investigation, monitoring and working closely with other agencies to mitigate this incident", he said in a statement.

His wish was quickly granted, as, within hours, Malaysian Foreign Minister Anifah Aman apologised to the government and people of Indonesia for the "inadvertent error".

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