Thierry Rommel had on Thursday criticised Malaysia’s affirmative action racial quota policy favouring Malays and indigenous groups known as bumiputras, saying it was detrimental to the country and could hinder a free-trade agreement.
He told AFP on Sunday that he had yet to receive an expected formal note of protest from the government, but said he was only thinking of the economic impact of Malaysia’s affirmative action policies.
“It is not my intention to meddle in internal affairs. The rationale to which I brought up the bumiputra policy was in relation to FTA negotiations. The thinking was economic and nothing else,” he said.
He said Malaysia’s affirmative action policies were “about discrimination and protectionism” which would make trade negotiations with the EU “not so easy.”
“What is the big shock in saying that international trade negotiations often have implications into domestic adjustment?” he added.