PETALING JAYA: The Malaysia Basketball Association (Maba) today apologised for displaying a Malaysian flag with a five-point version of the 14-point star during the opening ceremony of a recent tournament in Kuala Lumpur.
In a Facebook post, Maba said its live broadcast team had accidentally put up the wrong flag on the digital display.
“We apologise for this mistake and we take full responsibility for such actions.
“Please forgive us, as we are always striving to grow and develop the sport of basketball in Malaysia,” it said.
Photos and videos of the flag gaffe at the opening ceremony of the 28th Maba Milo Lum Mun Chak Cup (2019) tournament have been circulating on social media, with some internet users accusing the association of racism and promoting communism.
In a message to the media, Kuala Lumpur police chief Mazlan Lazim said Maba had lodged a report on the matter, which is now under police investigation.
Umno deputy president Mohamad Hasan said the incident showed how some Malaysians do not appreciate the country’s identity and the meaning behind the flag’s symbols and colours.
However, he said this case was likely due to ignorance rather than racism or communism.
“This ignorance is because we do not care for or truly love this country. We take for granted the prosperity we attained decades ago,” he said in a statement.
He thanked Maba for its quick apology but said the association must realise why many had suspicions about the incident.
“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.”
Worse still, he said, Maba’s apology on its Facebook page was only in English and Mandarin.
So, he said, if Maba wanted forgiveness from Malaysians, it should set a good example by respecting the national language and the Jalur Gemilang.