KUALA LUMPUR: Datuk Seri Ahmad Maslan has expressed regret at being labelled an "infidel" following his call to support parties under the unity government in the upcoming six state elections.
The Deputy Finance Minister, who is also an Umno supreme council member, said this should not have become a personal attack.
"I have been criticised many times before on social media, but I have never lodged any police report nor asked anyone to do so.
"However, I believe that some have lodged reports (this time) because it was too extreme, to the point that my face was replaced with an image of a pig with 'infidel' written across it," the Pontian MP told reporters after an event in Parliament on Wednesday (May 24).
"What I said earlier (was) support not in the name of DAP (as a party) but for the unity government," he clarified.
"We help each other... The DAP candidate who lost in Pontian during the 15th General Election received 15,000 votes," said the former Umno secretary-general who successfully defended his seat against DAP's Shazwan Dzainal and two others.
"Now we are in the unity government. Come GE16, I think DAP will no longer contest in Pontian.
"So, those 15,000 people who voted for DAP, maybe they will vote for Barisan Nasional or Umno.
"If DAP helps us, it is (appropriate) that we, too, help other parties in the government," he said.
On Saturday (May 20), DAP national publicity secretary Teo Nie Ching said all party members and supporters in the six states should cast their votes for Umno candidates to ensure a better future for the country.
She said they should set aside past differences so that parties in the unity government could win to strengthen the state and federal administrations.
"Now that we are together in the unity government, all parties in the government need to win in the state polls to ensure continued stability.
"DAP definitely wants to retain all its seats and we hope our component partners like PKR, Amanah and Umno will also win in their areas," she said.