Saturday, August 25, 2007
Jesus puff piece. No offense intended?
This front page picture causes a furore in Kuala Lumpur when it ran in the Tamil-language newspaper, Makkal Osai.
The Malaysian newspaper issued an apology to Murphy Pakiam, the Roman Catholic archbishop, and the Malaysian government, which had complained that the graphic disupted "the naitonal harmony."
SM Periasamy, general manager of the paper, explained that a graphic artist downloaded the image from the internet to illustrate an article, and failed to notice that this particular Jesus clutched a butt and a beer.
"We are sorry for the mistake, but it was a very honest one," he told wire reporters, adding that the employee had been sacked.
"At no time did we mean to downgrade any religion," Mr Periasamy said. The ill-chosen illustration ran under an article about the sayings of great leaders. The quote: "If someone repents for his mistakes, then heaven awaits them'.
More than 60 per cent of Malaysia's 27 million people are Muslim Malays and Islam is the official religion.