AlwaysWoW! For a Great Great WoW in Life

Thoughts from me about things that are cool, that are WoW, that blow me away. Observations about businesses and people from a wide variety of life. Daily encounters - and thoughts outside the box, inside the box and without any box. New thinking, and challenging old thinking. Passionate about life, about respect, and about integrity.

Friday, April 23, 2004

Malaysian Toilets

We have to quote quite a lot of the article in today’s edition of the New Straits Times, since it actually address some dire straits. A company called Syarikat Prasarana Negara Bhd installed a new toilet concept at its Kuala Lumpur City Centre (KLCC) light railway transit (LRT) station as an innovative measure in tackling the problem of dirty and vandalised public toilets.

Let’s describe the toilet: The bowl of this new toilet has the “shape of a tub to prevent spillage”. Its waterhose is shorter, to prevent people from putting the hose on the floor, after usage. It has a “anti-squatbarrier over the toilet bowls, placed behind the user, since “frequent squatting destroys the bowl and the pedal”. For the men's toilet, waterless urinals and bidets are installed in addition to the anti-squat barriers. The new washrooms are in cheery colours and equipped with plans and pictures. Users will be charged a nominal fee of 20 sen per entry

Okay – this is also not the first time that a new concept was introduced. In November 2001, a new toile concept was introduced that was supposed to be "dry" but it turned out to be wet and a bit smelly at the Ladies.

Let’s describe the real state of toilets in Malaysia. Every now and than, readers to newspapers describe their filthy state. Basically toilets here are dirty, smelly, and just disgusting to use.

Sometimes, companies put in huge ventilators to blow in fresh air and the dirty one out – a typical concept in Malaysia – work on the outcome of a problem, and not at the root of it.

Compare this to public toilets in Singapore – just go to Changi Airport. Or, I once used a toilet in a shopping mall in Bangkok – and was blown away by its cleanliness. Toilets in Malaysia are dirty, even if there is someone who collects coins at the entrance. What for, if they don’t clean the toilets anyway? Basically, it is the mindset of the people. Just go anywhere in the country – you hardly find waste paper baskets, people just throw coke cans out of the open windows of the cars, throw paper on the floor – I once saw a woman doing it in between two waste paper baskets. I always say that it is amazing how fast this country tries to destroy its own beauty!


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