University of Malaya Submits Report on Controversial Foreign Speaker to Education Ministry

The University of Malaya faces backlash for inviting a controversial foreign speaker, Bruce Gilley, whose remarks offended Malaysian sensitivities. The government has ordered the cancellation of Gilley's programs and UM is investigating the matter.

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Geeta Pillai
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University of Malaya Submits Report on Controversial Foreign Speaker to Education Ministry

University of Malaya Submits Report on Controversial Foreign Speaker to Education Ministry

The University of Malaya (UM) has submitted a report to the Ministry of Higher Education (KPT) regarding a controversial foreign speaker, Bruce Gilley, who made statements that offended societal sensitivities in Malaysia. Communications Minister Fahmi Fadzil expressed regret over UM's decision to invite Gilley, who was described as being inclined towards the Zionist regime and accused Malaysian leaders of advocating a "second Holocaust" for Jews.

The Higher Education Minister, Datuk Seri Dr Zambry Abdul Kadir, has ordered the cancellation of all programs and activities scheduled to be attended by Gilley. UM has been asked to investigate the matter and report further details as soon as possible. The university has issued an apology and taken immediate action in response to the controversy.

UM acknowledged the suggestion made by the Ministry of Higher Education and canceled any programs and activities scheduled to be attended by Gilley. The university expressed regret over the statements made by the speaker, which were deemed to not respect the sentiments of the public. UM is preparing a comprehensive report on the issue and will take strict action against those involved.

Why this matters: The incident highlights the importance of universities carefully vetting foreign speakers and considering the potential impact of their statements on local sensitivities. It also underscores the Malaysian government's stance against Zionism and support for Palestinian rights.

To prevent such incidents in the future, UM is enhancing its procedures and implementing stricter guidelines, especially for background checks and risk assessments of individuals and parties involved. Additionally, UM has condemned the irresponsible remarks made by Gilley regarding travel safety in Malaysia, which angered the Malaysian populace. The university reiterated its support for the government's stance against any elements associated with Israel and its endorsement of efforts to recognize Palestine as a legitimate independent state.

Minister Fahmi emphasized that UM, as an institution of higher education and a place of study for many of the country's top leaders, should not have allowed such an incident to occur. "The Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, has spoken out strongly on the Palestinian issue," Fahmi noted, criticizing the university for allowing the spread of Zionist propaganda.

Key Takeaways

  • UM submitted report to KPT on controversial foreign speaker Bruce Gilley.
  • KPT ordered cancellation of Gilley's programs, UM to investigate and report.
  • UM apologized, condemned Gilley's remarks, and will take strict action.
  • Incident highlights need for universities to vet foreign speakers carefully.
  • UM to enhance procedures and guidelines, condemn Zionist propaganda.