For the first time in 16 years, Kuala Lumpur is playing host to the Southeast Asian Games (SEA Games). More popularly known as Kuala Lumpur 2017 (#KL2017 on social media), the multi-sport event kicked off over weekend (19th August 2017) and is now underway, with 404 events in 38 sports in its schedule.
Alas, a couple of blunders have tainted the games, and it’s only the 3rd day.
For starters, there was an error on page 80 the SEA Games booklet, where the Indonesian flag was printed upside-down by mistake. Indonesian Youth and Sports minister Imam Nahrawi spotted it and tweeted about it, which set things off.
Malaysian Minister of Youth & Sports YB Khairy Jamaluddin acted swiftly, issuing a public apology on Twitter before meeting Imam Nahrawi in person to apologise. The official Kuala Lumpur 2017 Twitter account also issued an official statement regarding the blunder.
But Indonesian netizens would have none of it.
Before long, Imam Nahrwai’s tweet trended heavily amongst both Indonesian as well as Malaysian netizens. While Malaysians expressed regret and embarrassment over the error, Indonesian social media users didn’t mince their words. To make matters worse, another error was spotted on page 40 of the booklet, which mixed up Indonesia’s and Thailand’s flags. A Malaysian daily newspaper also allegedly made a similar blunder with an upside-down Indonesian flag.
Stupid people who doesn't know about anything of their neighborhood, even the flag they doesn't know it. Retard Country #ShameOnYouMalaysia
— Fead Patria (@feadpatria303) August 20, 2017
— Diana Christy (@eyesofdiana) August 20, 2017
— arief wibowo (@4an) August 20, 2017
— Mia (@MiaaDes) August 19, 2017
— Vallerian (@karasu036) August 21, 2017
— عبد العزيز (@aziz_thegreat) August 20, 2017
As seen in the tweets above, amongst the hashtags used were #ShameonMalaysia, #ShameOnYouMalaysia, and #ShameOnYouMalay.
And that’s not all.
Following the blunders, 27 Malaysian websites were defaced by Indonesian hackers today. They were mostly private and business blogs i.e. Malaysian-based logistics delivery service Easyparcel.my. In the image left by the hackers, the Jalur Gemilang was purposely turned upside-down. Other hacked sites, including Be A Happy Millionaire, featured an image of the original SEA Games booklet with the message “Bendera Negaraku Bukanlah Mainan” (translation: “My national flag is not a play thing”). The Indonesian patriotic anthem, “Tanah Air Beta”, can also be heard playing in the background.
Meanwhile, distribution of the flawed booklets have been halted with immediate effect and a new version of the SEA Games booklet with the accurate Indonesian flag will be issued to replace the misprinted version.