Federal Territories Minister Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor, who is also Umno secretary-general, lambasted the opposition for distorting his speech on Saturday at the Nadi Negara Award, about Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM) students being “slow learners”. Pix by Zunnur Al Shafiq

KUALA LUMPUR: Federal Territories Minister Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor today lambasted the opposition for distorting his speech on Saturday about Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM) students being “slow learners”.

He said he meant well in his speech which highlighted the government's efforts to help people from all walks of life gain opportunities they would otherwise miss out.

"It was a function attended by students and I did not expect the media to be there, so I spoke openly and I meant well.

“I didn't expect that it would be spun out of proportion like this," said Tengku Adnan at his office at the Putra World Trade Centre here.

A video showing a part of Tengku Adnan's speech at the function, where he cited that even “slow learners” had a place to pursue their studies to gain better opportunities in life at UiTM became viral yesterday.

The clip was pounced upon by opposition factions and an online tirade against him ensued, with several opposition personalities calling him to retract his statements.

Tengku Adnan, who is also Umno secretary general, said in addressing the students, he wanted them to appreciate the opportunities provided by institutions like UiTM, where students with lower grades were given a second chance to pursue studies which would give them a better chance in life.

"In fact, that was the reason UiTM was formed. It was for the second or third grade students, particularly those from the lower income families to further their studies.

“It was an Umno’s plan, because we did not want anybody to be left out as the country progressed."

Tengku Adnan said after delivering his speech at the Anugerah Nadi Kebangsaan 2017 gathering, he noticed that students in the audience had taken his message positively.

"This is another example of the opposition putting their spin on a non-issue to confuse the public," he said.

"They did not listen to my whole speech and the message I was conveying. Instead they extracted one part and used that against us."