UM Apologises After US Prof's Pro-Israel Talk Causes Uproar

The university also condemned the professor's provocative remarks that it is unsafe to travel to Malaysia.

Cover image via @BruceDGilley (X) & Malaysiakini

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Universiti Malaya (UM) has issued an apology after an American professor accused Malaysians of advocating for a "second Holocaust" against Jews

In a statement today, 25 April, UM said that it has cancelled all programs and activities involving Professor Dr Bruce Gilley, who was recently invited to deliver a talk, titled Will Malaysia Become an Active Middle Power?

"UM regrets the controversial remarks made and acknowledges that they do not respect the sentiments of the public, as seen circulating on social media platforms. A comprehensive report on this issue is being prepared, and strict actions will be taken against those found to be involved," read the statement.

A social media storm erupted yesterday, 24 April, after Gilley posted on X, formerly Twitter, accusing Malaysians of advocating for a "second Holocaust against the Jewish people".

He took to the platform to share excerpts from the keynote address he gave on Malaysian foreign policy.

"'A country whose political leaders advocate [for] a second Holocaust against the Jewish people will never be a serious player in world affairs, and will certainly never be a friend or partner of the US.' From my keynote address [on Tuesday] in KL on Malaysian foreign policy," Gilley wrote on X.

Gilley during his talk at Universiti Malaya on Tuesday, 23 April.

Image via @BruceDGilley (X)

UM said that it views the matter seriously

To prevent similar incidents from recurring, the university emphasised in its statement that it will enhance its procedures and guidelines for vetting individuals it collaborates with in the future.

"The guidelines will be enhanced particularly in reviewing the background of any individuals or parties involved, including assessments of their social media profiles," said UM.

The university also condemned Gilley's provocative remarks that it is unsafe to travel to Malaysia, calling them irresponsible and extreme

"UM condemns the recent statements made by the Professor regarding safety aspects when travelling to Malaysia. Such remarks are irresponsible and extreme, provoking the anger of the Malaysian people.

"UM will continue to support the government's stance against any connections with Israel and fully endorse efforts to recognise Palestine as a legitimate independent state," added the statement.

Meanwhile, Gilley, who has since left Malaysia, claiming he was "one step ahead of the Islamo-fascist mob whipped up by the government", has now started a GoFundMe fundraiser to pay for his flight tickets

Gilley claims he was "forced to leave Malaysia" after he criticised Malaysia's "official anti-Semitism".

"The disgraceful behaviour of the university in cancelling his visiting professorship means the flight and hotel costs incurred will not be covered. This is an open and proud request for public support to defray these costs, totalling USD2,346 (approximately RM11,220)," read the fundraiser page set up today, 25 April.

At the time of writing, he has received USD295 from five donations.

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