Strong protest to Malaysia needed: Mahfud MD

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Indonesia needs to send strong protest to Malaysia against the incident in which Malaysia has printed the Indonesian national flag upside down in the SEA Games 2017 reference book, former constitutional chief justice Mahfud MD said here Monday.

"As a citizen the case must be followed up with a diplomatic note containing strong protest as it was not a light matter. That is a state symbol that may not be made fun of. There is a law that regulates state symbols. If that happened in the country the punishment could be severe. That is why we must send a protest," he said.

He said the case had made people angry and to be offended because Malaysia had shown carelessness to allow it to happen.

That is why people have had suspicion that Malaysia might have acted deliberately with regard to several unpleasant incidents that have happened so far, he said.

"So it is understandable that some of us suspected that it was a deliberate act and that is why the government must be firm in connection with it. We must reduce formalities. There must be a statement to protest it, a diplomatic note. I think that was really an unprofessional act," he said.

The organizing committee of Malaysia SEA Games 2017 has printed a reference book in which the picture of the Indonesian flag was printed upside down. The mistake was discovered by Indonesian sports minister Imam Nahrawi and the Indonesian delegation attending the opening of the sports event on Saturday (Aug 19).

Malaysian sports minister Khairy Jamaluddin later offered an apology for the mistake to Imam Nahrawi. He also offered an apology to Indonesia and its people and said that the Malaysian foreign minister planned to officially offer an apology to the Indonesian government.

Jamaluddin said he had ordered the committee to stop distributing the book and corrected it before reprinting it for distribution to guests.

Malaysian foreign minister Sri Anifah has offered an apology to the Indonesian state and people when communicating with Indonesian foreign minister Retno LP Marsudi besides producing a release offering an apology to Indonesia and its people.

Source: Antara News

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