A newspaper catering to Malaysia's ethnic Indians published a front-page apology Thursday after causing an outrage by printing an image of Jesus Christ holding a cigarette.
Malaysia's Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi slammed the picture as hurtful and an insult to Christians, and called on people not to play with religion, the national news agency Bernama reported.
"If the Christians get to know about it, it will create problems," Abdullah was quoted as saying. "I remind them again to stop doing this."
S.M. Periasamy, general manager of the Tamil-language Makkal Osai, told The Associated Press that the daily published the controversial photo by mistake.