On Thursday, 7 February, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (KLN) released a statement, expressing concern over a controversial video showing a Filipino politician burning the Malaysian flag and denouncing "Malaysia's continuing invasion of the State of Sabah"
The video, which was uploaded on a Facebook page called President Pamatong Supporters on 19 January 2019, showed Elly Pamatong, the self-proclaimed President of the Philippines, publicly burning the Malaysian flag in the Philippines last month.
The Filipino politician has also been described as the self-proclaimed founder of the United States Allied Freedom Fighters of the East (USAFFE).
The almost nine-minute-long video, which is still available on Pamatong's Facebook page, has over 100 comments and more than 250 shares at the time of writing.
While strongly condemning the act of public burning of the Malaysian flag, Malaysia's Foreign Ministry has urged the Philippines government to take stern action against Pamatong
"The flag is a sacred national symbol and should be treated with respect.
"Such actions and anti-Malaysia comments made by this individual are offensive and the accusations made are baseless," read the Foreign Ministry's statement.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs also called on the Philippines government to ensure that such an incident does not recur as it could "potentially tarnish the excellent bilateral relations which Malaysia and the Philippines currently enjoy."
Responding to the Foreign Ministry's statement, the Philippines' Embassy in Malaysia has released a statement, saying Pamatong's action does not represent the official position of the Philippines
In the statement, the Philippines' Embassy also said that it "does not condone the incident and deeply regrets that the incident has offended the feelings of Malaysians."
"The flag-burning incident was committed by a private individual who is known to have done many controversial things in the past. His action does not represent the official position of the Philippines.
"Philippine Government authorities in Manila are currently looking into the matter and shall deal with it accordingly," read the statement by the Philippines' Embassy.
Meanwhile, the Facebook page called President Pamatong Supporters, where the video was uploaded also has a set of 30 photos, in which Pamatong is shown burning the Malaysian flag