Govt dismayed UM became 'ground zero' for Gilley's insensitive remarks, says Fahmi


PETALING JAYA: The government is disappointed that Universiti Malaya (UM) invited a foreign speaker whose statements sparked unnecessary controversy while disrespecting community sentiments, says Fahmi Fadzil.

The government spokesman and Communications Minister expressed severe dismay that UM, being possibly the most prestigious and historically important institute of higher learning in our nation’s history, became ground zero for such comments.

"This kind of incident should have never happened in the first place, especially not at such an important landmark as UM.

ALSO READ: All events with US academic Bruce Gilley ordered to be cancelled, says Zambry

"UM has been an important alma mater of so many Malaysian leaders and chief judges.

"This is especially bad as the Prime Minister (Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim) has made his views very clear on the Palestinian issue," Fahmi told reporters after his ministry's monthly assembly in Putrajaya on Thursday (April 25).

UM hosted a talk by US academic Bruce Gilley on Tuesday (April 23) where he reportedly downplayed Malaysia's ties with the United States.

He also claimed that Malaysia had pushed for a "second holocaust against the Jewish people" which has since drawn massive criticism online.

Gilley has yet to apologise for his comments and instead triggered further controversy by claiming that Malaysia was not a safe place to travel to in a post on X after leaving.

Fahmi added that he and other relevant government agencies would take further action after UM submits the promised full report on the incident.

Gilley's comments also drew fire from others.

MCA Youth information chief Neow Choo Seong called Gilley’s comments not only arrogant but also completely insensitive to Malaysians.

"These remarks demonstrate... a blatant disregard for the country's consistent stance on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

"Individuals like Gilley who promote such misleading rhetoric have no right to enter Malaysia," he said in a statement on Thursday.

ALSO READ: Gilley's remarks disrespect Malaysia's stance on Israel-Palestine conflict, says MCA Youth leader

Former education minister Dr Maszlee Malik expressed similar concerns, noting that someone must be held accountable for the incident.

"How could a pro-Zionist and someone who openly condemns Malaysia have been invited to our most prestigious university?

"In American universities, there are students fighting for the Palestinian issue and urging the US and world governments to stop genocide in Gaza.

"An open apology must be made and somebody has to resign with honour," he said in a Facebook post.

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