PETALING JAYA (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - RTM has admitted making errors when displaying the flags of certain participating countries during its SEA Games showcase and vowed that action will be taken to prevent similar occurrences.
The national broadcaster's director-general of broadcasting Datuk Abu Bakar Ab Rahim said they have since apologised for the mistakes during the news segments on Thursday (Aug 24) and Friday night.
According to him, the mistakes occurred at the production level while attempting to update the medal results that are constantly changing.
"We will take action in order to prevent something similar from happening again," he told The Star on Saturday.
The mix-up of flags had gone viral on social media and drew the ire of netizens, who condemned the mistakes and said it looked bad on Malaysia as the host nation of this year's SEA Games.
The flags of eight out of the 11 participating countries - namely Vietnam, Singapore, Thailand, Myanmar, Indonesia, Philippines, Cambodia, and Laos - had been wrongly attributed during several events on Friday.
"The arrangement of flags are all over the place," said one social media user, who uploaded a screenshot of the glaring mistake.
During the opening ceremony of the SEA Games last weekend, the Indonesian flag in the official souvenir booklet was accidentally printed upside down, prompting Indonesia's sports minister Imam Nahrawi to lament about it on Twitter.
Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin subsequently met his Indonesian counterpart to apologise for the oversight, and declared that the matter had been settled.
Indonesian President Joko Widodo also accepted Malaysia's apology and said the printing mistake should not be blown out of proportion.
On Friday, broadcasters got Malaysia's own flag wrong during the men's 50m freestyle swimming finals, tagging national swimmer Keith Lim Kit Sern with the Singaporean flag and under the abbreviation "KUL" (Kuala Lumpur) instead of "MAS" (Malaysia).