Former de facto Law Minister Datuk Zaid Ibrahim has hit back at three Umno supreme council members who asked him to apologise over remarks he made about Ketuanan Melayu (Malay supremacy).
Stressing that he would never apologise, Zaid in a statement yesterday said it was because he loved his Malay race that he had recommended that open competition be allowed to ensure the race could compete with others in a globalised age.
“I am not surprised by the reaction of some Umno leaders especially since they have an ongoing party election,” he said.
“I am a village boy from a poor family, not an aristocrat or royalty. I want to see the Malays succeed in economy and education.”
Zaid said he was not questioning the special rights of Malays as enshrined in the Constitution.
He said the new model that he recommended was based on openness to ensure young Malays closed ranks and cooperated not only with other races in the country but also foreigners.
He named Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Syed Albar, Datuk Seri Shahidan Kassim and Tan Sri Muhammad Muhammad Taib as the three supreme council members.
Zaid pointed out recently that the Malay supremacy concept had failed and distracted from the real issues confronting the country.
Yesterday, he said he hoped Malays could differentiate between leaders who thought of their interests from those who only used the name of the Malays for political mileage.
Zaid said the concept of Malay supremacy had a negative element.