The Year of the Rooster - based on the Chinese zodiac - has just ended, giving way to the Year of the Dog.
However, the ministry of Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism Ministry's (KPDNKK) advert on the Sin Chew Daily wished people a prosperous Year of the Dog - but showed a rooster emitting a dog's bark in Chinese.
The ministry had apologised for the "technical error".
The cultural quagmire is complicated by a view held by some Malaysian Muslims that dogs are unclean animals.
Earlier this week, Reuters reported that Malaysian businesses were ignoring or playing down canine symbols - to avoid offending the Muslim majority. Ethnic Chinese make up about a quarter of the country's population.
(Excerpts : BBC News)