PETALING JAYA: A university student’s Nazi salute at a convocation ceremony reflects poorly on the country, especially since the Third Reich had also targeted Muslims in its pogrom in World War II, says Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman (pic).
In a letter to the German embassy in Malaysia, the Youth and Sports Minister expressed his “deep regret” over the incident.
“About six million Jews were killed during the Holocaust, but let’s not forget the lives of non-Jews that were sacrificed as well.
“Among them were Romanis, Christians and even Muslims, with early records showing that Muslims also helped Jews flee from persecution in countries like Tunisia and Algeria.
“I have been an ardent supporter of the freedom of speech. It is something I openly encourage many of Malaysia’s youth to practise and exercise.
“However, it is actions such as this that reflect poorly on our society,” he wrote in the letter, which was addressed to Ambassador Nikolaus Graf Lambsdorff.
Syed Saddiq added that the comparison made by the student, that in order to fight for the rights of one group by way of defending the injustice of another, is “a false dichotomy”.
The Muar MP also noted that glorifying a leader who committed war crimes, genocide and ethnic cleansing is no laughing matter.
“Islam prohibits violence, not only against mankind but against every living creature and (violence) is only recognised during times of self-defence.
“As brothers and sisters of the human race, let us be guided by compassion, empathy and unity in our actions,” he wrote.
Last month, a Universiti Sabah Malaysia (UMS) graduate gave a Nazi salute during his convocation.
In a now-deleted Facebook post, he said the salute was in protest over what he claimed was the “Jewish dominance” of the world.
He also expressed his support for the Palestinians in Gaza as well as his resentment of Jews and went as far as to support the cruel actions of the Nazi regime in the Holocaust, which claimed the lives of millions.
The UMS student then ended his post with the hashtags #SaveGaza and #Pray4Palestine.
As screenshots of the post went viral, Malaysians condemned the graduate’s actions.
The German embassy also condemned the graduate’s actions, saying it was shocked to learn of the incident.
In a statement, UMS said that the conduct of the graduate did not reflect the views of the university and they were only his personal views.