According to the Chinese zodiac, this year welcomes the year of the doggos – and by doggos, we mean our cute, furry, friendly, and most obviously, four-legged companion. Some people however, might’ve missed the memo.
BBC recently reported the trade ministry’s mishap when they published an advert wishing everyone a Happy Chinese New Year, but instead of using this year’s Chinese zodiac animal as their messenger, they used a rooster who barked in Chinese as their main feature. The ministry later received multiple criticisms online regarding their ‘technical error’, which they’ve apologised for.
Not sure if I wanna laugh or cry looking at a CNY ad by @KPDNKK depicting a rooster barking. It’s sad how people thinks that seeing a printed dog will ruin your faith.
— Chee Ching (@cheeChingy) February 15, 2018
The ministry may have issued a “million apologies” for its mistake, but the damage has been done. We have become a laughing stock, and prompted CNN to feature our barking rooster in their news bulletins. https://t.co/0yyKiBm6dv pic.twitter.com/waQRk6hMNy
— FMT News (@fmtoday) February 18, 2018
Along the weeks of Chinese New Year, social tensions were on mild alert as Reuters reported that Malaysian businesses were downplaying the use of canine symbols to avoid overstepping on the sensitivity of Malaysian Muslims who see dogs as unclean animals. Despite being a country of diverse culture, the act of downplaying others’ celebration contradicts what we often preach and portray.
Many have thought that the mistake in the advert was a misguided attempt to avoid a picture of a dog, presumably out of respect for Malaysian Muslims.
Following the incident, the MCA Religious Harmony Bureau chairman Datuk Seri Ti Lian Ker, stated:
“After the apology, the error was forgotten and there was no major upset among the Chinese community as the Chinese are a pragmatic lot and easygoing.”
He added that this incident was politically influenced by DAP to stir up racial issues amongst the community. He also stated that Malaysians have a big heart and loved its unity and diversity.
“It’s time to move on and look at the bigger picture and work together towards achieving greater things.”