The End of the Politics of Hate (4)

The worst form of politics of hate is the propagation of hatred for the country. It is, I believe, political in origin. It is easy for people to mix up their hatred for the government of the day with hatred for the country. The previous government formed by coalitions made up more or  less (but not exactly) the same parties ruled for 60 years. Because of the duration, may be people can be excused if they equate the country with the government.

We may be led to think that the occurrence of denigration of the national flag, the national anthem and articles of the constitution itself is a result this confusion by people who did not support the then government. However, since the same people has succeeded to elect the parties of their choice to form a government, we would expect them to support the new government and hence also to support the country.

Yet, this does not appear to be so. I was expecting that the annual National (Merdeka) day celebrations (twice now) would see a groundswell of audience participation from people who support the new government who were absent in previous celebrations. What I expected did not materialize. The RTM TV camera panned up and down the rows of attendees but failed to find significant numbers of members of a certain segment of the population other than the folks who have been attending faithfully over the years. The composition of participants seen on the ceremony of Proclamation of Independence in 1957 was not replicated.

Then, there were the incidences, just prior to 31st August 2019, of flying the national flag upside down, which was numerous enough not to be excused as geometrical mistakes. The people, it would appear, are members of or at least supporters of a party in government or supporters of a party that supports the current federal government. The misappropriation of hatred for items that are symbols of the nation as opposed to those associated with the political party in government has not been eliminated. Maybe there was no confusion at all.

Recently, a group of people refused to stand up in respect when the National anthem was played. It is quite likely that there are people who hate their own country and what it stands for.

I think there is no end yet to the politics of hatred for the country. The change in government has not made a telling difference.

Published by Dr Abdollah Salleh

I am a retired surgeon, currently offering consultancy services in Information Management in Health Care Services. My interests and experience have been in patient care, quality management, clinical governance, medical education and information management (among other things). I served as a doctor in primary, secondary and tertiary care with the Ministry of Health Malaysia from 1977 to 2011. I am a life member of the Malaysian Society for Quality in Health, Malaysia; a society I helped establish and served as a Hospital Accreditation surveyor for many years. I served as invited lecturer and taught undergraduate and postgraduate students at various medical faculties (UITM, UKM and USM) in Malaysia. At Hospital Selayang, Malaysia, I was Chairman of the Clinical Advisory Committee, the Clinical-IT Coordinator and Quality Coordinator, for close to 10 years. I helped implement computerized hospital information systems in several hospitals. I graduated with MBBS from University of Malaya in 1977. I was (but has since ceased to be) a fellow by examination of RCS Edinburgh and RCPS Glasgow. I am contactable by e-mail at:

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