US embassy refutes American professor Bruce Gilley’s claim, says Malaysia still safe to travel

The US embassy in Kuala Lumpur has affirmed that Malaysia is still safe to travel, negating American academician Bruce Gilley’s claim that it is not.

“There is no change to the US travel advisory, which remains at Level 1, the lowest level out of four,” it said in a statement.

According to the United States Bureau of Consular Affairs, Level 1 is the lowest advisory level for safety and security, between Levels 1 to 4, and 4 being “do not travel”.

At Level 1, travellers are to exercise normal precautions in the country, it said.

The US State Department’s website showed that Malaysia has been on Level 1 since its last update on July 24, 2023. Additionally, its country information on Malaysia says that the two sides have healthy bilateral ties.

“Economic ties are robust, and there is a long history of people-to-people exchanges. Malaysia has a diverse democracy and is an important partner in US engagement with Southeast Asia,” it said.

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Earlier this week, Gilley claimed in a post on X (formerly Twitter) that Malaysia is not safe to travel to.

He said on the social media platform that he had left Malaysia due to safety concerns caused by an “Islamo-fascist mob whipped up by the government there”.

Recently, the University of Malaya (UM) had invited Gilley to speak, which caused controversy.

Gilley purportedly claimed that Malaysia had pushed for a “second Holocaust against the Jewish people” during his talk, and downplayed the country’s ties with the US.

US professor Bruce Gilley delivers a lecture at the Universiti of Malaya in Kuala Lumpur. Photo: BruceDGilley/X

After the cancellation of all events involving Gilley by Higher Education Minister Dr Zambry Abd Kadir, the academician has since returned to America.

Further sparking outrage, he posted that he will not accept reimbursement for his travels from the university, choosing instead to ask the public to fund his costs via an online platform.

“[Gilley’s] social media post on the safety of travelling in Malaysia is too much. It is irresponsible and can cause anger among all Malaysians,” UM said in a statement.

This story was first published by The Star

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