The Malaysia Basketball Association (MABA) has apologised for putting up the incorrect Malaysian flag during a match on Monday, 25 November
"As the president of MABA, I (Datuk Lua Choon Hann) would like to apologise to the rakyat of Malaysia," read a statement posted on the association's Facebook page yesterday, 26 November.
"MABA will take full responsibility for the carelessness of showing the wrong Jalur Gemilang during the opening ceremony of the under-15 basketball tournament."
Images uploaded along with the statement on the Facebook page showed members of the association bowing in unison to express their regret.
Lua added that the association has since terminated the contractor who was responsible for showing the flag with a five-pointed star
He said that MABA hired the contractor for their live streaming services, adding that the order to stop the video from playing in the stadium was given once their executives realised the mistake.
According to him, the five-pointed star flag was displayed while the national anthem was played.
The police have since called up MABA for questioning
New Straits Times reported that Lua showed up at the police station at 8am on Tuesday to explain the mishap that has caused widespread public outrage on the Internet.
"He informed that the incident was not caused by his side (MABA), instead it was a mistake committed by the information technology (IT) contractor," said Kuala Lumpur police chief Datuk Seri Mazlan Lazim.
"We have asked MABA to lodge a police report for further action."
Mazlan added that the police will still investigate the matter to see if there are any hidden agendas behind the mistake.
The incident has made MABA a target for scrutiny with several political leaders criticising the association for the blunder
Youth and Sports Minister Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman said that the "wrong flag" is an excuse and one which he cannot accept.
"Even children at the age of five know which is the Malaysian flag," Syed Saddiq wrote on a Facebook post.
"We get angry when foreign organisers messed up our flag. When locals make the mistake too, what are we going to do?"
Meanwhile, UMNO deputy president Mohamad Hasan said that the mistake was due to ignorance rather than racism or communism, reported Free Malaysia Today.
"This ignorance is because we do not care for or truly love this country. We take for granted the prosperity we attained decades ago," Hasan said in a statement.
He thanked MABA for its quick apology, but added that the association should understand why the public was quick to accuse them of different reasons.
"MABA is seen as being monopolised by a certain race and not respecting the country’s identity.
"MABA's Facebook page only posts in English and Mandarin. The tournament’s poster only emphasises English and Mandarin," Hasan said, adding that the association should use the national language to set a good example.
You can read MABA's apology statement in Bahasa Melayu here:
Earlier this year, an elderly couple was arrested for hanging the Jalur Gemilang upside down in front of their laundry shop: