Ahmad apologises for 'PhD' remark, cites humble beginnings

·2-min read
Ahmad apologises for 'PhD' remark, cites humble beginnings
Ahmad apologises for 'PhD' remark, cites humble beginnings

Umno secretary-general Ahmad Maslan has apologised over his remark that only the highly educated or PhD holders understand the need for a snap general election.

The lawmaker stressed that he did not mean to humiliate others.

Ahmad was referring to a statement he made at an event streamed on Umno Online's Facebook page on Jan 8.

"Yes, it is true that I apologise to those who were upset with me.

"It is not my behaviour to humiliate others. That means, it is not intentional," he said in a Facebook posting today.

Ahmad added that he was born into a poor family and his father was a rubber tapper.

"It's not my nature to humiliate people," stressed the three-term Pontian MP.

In the Jan 8 event, Ahmad pointed out that numerous countries managed to hold their general elections amidst the Covid-19 pandemic.

He then referred to a certain television interview featuring someone who worked as a coconut grater saying a general election should not be held due to the pandemic.

"We need a general election because this government has the smallest majority in the world. There are 222 parliament seats, and you need a minimum of 112 seats to become the government. The Malaysian government right now only has 112 seats. Do you realise this?

"I think the coconut grater (who was interviewed for the programme) did not realise this. The person was interviewed as a voice from the grassroots and I don't know if they graduated from high school or not.

"If they were from the International Islamic University Malaysia (IIUM) or had a PhD, then I think they would have commented on the issue more accurately," he said.

Ahmad came under fire from DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng and sacked BN secretary-general Annuar Musa for his "derogatory" remarks.

The Umno leader also defended his position on the snap polls, explaining that his suggestion was to hold the general election when the floods had subsided and after the Covid-19 vaccination programme had kicked off.

"I said GE (to be held) if the flood is over and after the vaccination programme had started. The election campaign can be carried out online via social media," he tweeted on Jan 10.

"If (we) can go to the shops, supermarkets, restaurants and queue up, why not queue up for one day to cast our ballots with stricter SOPs," he said.

The Umno supreme council recently endorsed a motion from 189 party divisions out of 191 to break ties with Bersatu, which is expected to trigger a snap election.

Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin said he could not call for snap polls during the pandemic but assured that he would call one as soon as it is safe to do so.