Indonesia has accused host Malaysia of cheating during the pencak silat martial arts competition at the Southeast Asian Games. This is the latest controversy between the two countries at the regional mini-Olympics.
Malaysia’s Taqiyuddin bin Hamid and Rosli bin Mohd Sharif took gold in the men’s artistic doubles, but Indonesia team manager Edhy Prabowo claimed they were awarded an unfairly high score.
The accusation comes after Malaysian Games organizers mistakenly printed Indonesia’s flag upside-down in a commemorative magazine, prompting protests in Indonesia and revenge hacking attacks.
“It’s absolutely not authentic, not proper. Never in the history of the male doubles has anyone had such inflated points,” Prabowo said, according to Indonesian news website Detiksport.
“They did not even deserve a third place, not even a fourth,” he said, adding: “I knew Malaysia would cheat. This is not good for our athletes, but we now have to accept this.”
Indonesia’s Yolla Primadona Jumpil and Hendy, the defending champions, were reportedly enraged after coming second in the competition with 554 points, behind the Malaysian team’s 582.
“It has never happened before that judges awarded 582 points in this category. Never mind 582, even to get 570 is extremely difficult,” Prabowo said.
Twenty SEA Games gold medals are available in the Indonesian martial art, which is so popular that the competition was moved from its original venue to a bigger stadium.
There was no immediate comment from SEA Games organizers, who earlier apologized to Indonesia — as did Malaysia’s foreign ministry and sports minister — for the flag error.
Table-topping Malaysia are on course for their most successful Games yet, after winning 96 gold medals heading into the penultimate day of full competition on Monday. (Agence France-Presse)
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