Malaysian National News Agency

Rommel's Statement Smacks Of Arrogance, Says Hishammuddin
June 24, 2007 19:47 PM
KUALA LUMPUR, June 24 (Bernama) -- Education Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein has described as "arrogant and excessive" remarks by European Union's (EU) top envoy to Malaysia, Thierry Rommel, criticising the country's New Economic Policy (NEP).

"Rommel has gone overboard in making such an arrogant statement. He has overstepped his authority," he told reporters after opening the 42nd annual general meeting of the Malaysian Red Crescent Society (MRCS) here today.

Hishammuddin, who is also Umno Youth chief, said Rommel should stay clear of the country's domestic affairs and policies.

"Don't try to interfere in our internal affairs. I think that Rommel hasn't taken any initiative to understand our historical and development background.

"Who is he to teach us about policies and how to develop this multi-ethnic country which has been independent for 50 years," he said.

Hishammuddin concurred on the need to lodge an official protest against Rommel's statement so that such subject matter would no longer be raised.

Rommel was quoted by the media as saying that the government should roll back the NEP as it was discriminatory and amounting to protectionism against foreign companies.

He alleged the government was using the NEP as an excuse to practise "significant protectionism of its own market", including the automotive sector, steel, consumer goods, agricultural products, services and government contracts.


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