FEDERAL Territories Minister Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor has apologised over his “slow learners” remark, which had riled Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM) alumni.
However, the Umno secretary-general insisted that his words had been twisted by certain parties to drive a wedge between him and UiTM.
“I would like to apologise if I have hurt anyone’s feelings with what I said,” he said at the Putra World Trade Centre today after a meeting with the UiTM Malaysia Alumni Association (PAUiTM) president and other alumni.
Tengku Adnan blamed the opposition for “spinning” his words yesterday, saying he was explaining how UiTM was created to give underperforming students a second chance.
He was recorded on video saying even slow learners could enrol in UiTM, at the Anugerah Nadi Negara 2017 event on Saturday.
The remark drew flak on social media, including from PAUiTM president Mohd Zaini Hassan, who posted on his Facebook page a list of influential individuals who had studied at the institution.
Tengku Adnan today said he was a loose canon, adding that he would be more careful in his speeches in the future.
But, he insisted that his comment had been misconstrued to create tension between him and UiTM.
“I want to say, me and my family members, we all benefited from ITM (UiTM). It is an institution set up by the government to help Malays.
“So, I hope the matter can be put to rest because I know that sometimes, I’m a loose canon. So, I have to be careful.”
He said the remark was made as part of a motivational speech to remind university students of the contributions of Umno, which is part of the ruling government that has governed the country for 60 years.
“That was my intention when I said it. I didn’t know that certain parties would take the opportunity to drive a wedge between me and ITM (UiTM), as well as other students.”