Aus­tralians stripped down to un­der­wear

7 Days in Dubai - - GLOBAL NEWS -

Nine Aus­tralians, in­clud­ing a gov­ern­ment ad­viser, have been ar­rested in Malaysia for strip­ping down to their briefs and drink­ing beer from shoes af­ter Aus­tralian driver Daniel Ric­cia­rdo won the Malaysian For­mula One Grand Prix, of­fi­cials said.

Gov­ern­ment of­fi­cials con­firmed that Jack Walker, ad­viser to De­fence In­dus­try Min­is­ter Chris Pyne, was among the men aged 25 to 29 who were ar­rested af­ter they stripped down to Budgy Smug­gler-brand swim­suits dec­o­rated with the Malaysian flag in full view of thou­sands of spec­ta­tors at the Sepang race track on Sun­day. Pyne’s of­fice said the mat­ter was be­ing “han­dled ap­pro­pri­ately” 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,” a gov­ern­ment state­ment said.

District po­lice chief Ab­dul Aziz Ali said yes­ter­day that the men were be­ing in­ves­ti­gated for “in­ten­tional in­sult with in­tent to pro­voke a breach of peace” and pub­lic in­de­cency.

He said po­lice would sub­mit a re­port to pros­e­cu­tors, who will de­cide to­mor­row if the men will be charged. Ab­dul Aziz said the men face up to six months in jail, a fine or both if they are found guilty.

Sepang In­ter­na­tional Cir­cuit chief ex­ec­u­tive Datuk Ra­zlan Razali told the New Straits Times the men de­served to be locked up.

“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,” he said. “It em­bar­rasses their own coun­try as well – it gives Aus­tralians a bad name,” he said.

Trea­surer Scott Mor­ri­son told Syd­ney Ra­dio 2GB the ar­rests were a re­minder for trav­ellers to know lo­cal laws and re­spect them. The gov­ern­ment al­ready warns trav­ellers that there are conservative stan­dards of dress and be­hav­iour in many parts of Malaysia.

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