A policy advisor to Australian Minister Christopher Pyne was among the nine Australians arrested on Sunday for stripping down to Malaysian flag swimming undies during the Malaysian Grand Prix in Sepang.
Jack Walker, defence innovation adviser to the minister, was apparently in the group of men celebrating in Speedo-style swimming trunks, to celeberate Australian Daniel Ricciardo’s victory at the circuit on Sunday.
A spokesperson for Pyne said the matter was being handled by the Australian High Commissioner in Malaysia.
“Until we have a clearer picture of the process at hand it would be unwise to comment further,” Australian Associated Press quoted the spokesperson as saying.
Malaysia’s local police said the men were intoxicated with alcohol when the incident took place.
They are under investigation for public indecency and disrespecting the Malaysian flag.
“This shows a huge lack of respect to us as Malaysians; this is stupid behaviour from foreigners who have no sense of cultural sensitivity and respect,” Sepang International Circuit CEO Razlan Razali told reporters.
“It embarrasses their own country as well – it gives Australians a bad name,” Razlan said.
Australia is providing consular assistance to the men.
In a radio station interview in Sydney, Australia Treasurer Scott Morrison said the arrest was a timely reminder for young people to respect the laws of the countries they visit.
“They’re on their grounds, so you’ve got to comply,” he said.