A group of Australians, including a government political adviser, was arrested in Malaysia after stripping down to Malaysian flag-themed underwear at the Formula 1 Malaysian Grand Prix.
Local police apprehended nine Australians, aged 25 to 29, who were also seen drinking beer from their shoes, at the Sepang International Circuit (SIC) at 5 p.m., reported New Straits Times.
“They will be remanded for four days beginning today. The remand period will be discussed with the Deputy Public Prosecutor for further action,” said Sepang district police chief Assistant Commissioner Abdul Aziz Ali.
The group was reportedly celebrating a victory on Sunday by a fellow Australian, the Red Bull driver Daniel Ricciardo, when the incident occurred.
According to the Telegraph, Jack Walker, adviser to Defense Industry Minister Chris Pyne, is currently being investigated along with the entire offending party. Local authorities are looking into filing a case under Section 504 of the Penal Code for intentional insult with intent to provoke a breach of the peace and Section 14 of the Minor Offences Act 1955.
— Frankie D (@dcruzfrankie) October 3, 2016
The incident became a trending topic in local social media, and the images of the Australians wearing their Jalur Gemilang-themed bikini briefs immediately went viral.
A video posted by Ageng Purnomosidi (@agengpurnomosidi) on
While most netizens viewed the conduct as insulting to Malaysia and its flag, some found the action as humorous and not to be taken too seriously.
Razlan Razali, the chief executive officer of the Sepang International Circuit, described the foreigners’ actions as “stupid” and said they had “disrespected” Malaysia’s cultural sensitivities.