Reports by MARTIN CARVALHO, MAZWIN NIK ANIS, CHESTER CHIN, RASHVINJEET SINGH BEDI and BLAKE CHEN
PETALING JAYA: There have been numerous “clean toilet campaigns” organised all over the country in the past.
These campaigns basically have the same goal – to instil public awareness and responsibility on the proper use of public toilets.
The Housing and Local Government Ministry first embarked on such a campaign in 1997.
Former deputy housing and local government minister, the late Datuk Robert Lau Hoi Chew, was nicknamed the “toilet king” because of his zest to “flush out” thousands of stinking cubicles in the country.
He was at the forefront of the issue and told The Star in an interview that unflushed toilets, used toilet papers strewn all over, wet and stained toilet floors and vandalism were testimony to the low level of civic consciousness among Malaysians.
“When using the public toilet, use it as if you are using your toilet at home. And always think of the next user as yourself. Apart from this, the public should also boycott eateries with dirty toilets, ” he said in the December 2008 interview.
Lau had said that since he took over the campaign in 2004, they had set up the National Toilet Expo and Forum (Natef), National Toilet Cleanliness Committee (NTCC) and Quality Restroom Association Malaysia (QRAM).
Over the years, The Star had reported on numerous clean toilet campaigns – from Kuala Lumpur, Johor Baru to Kuching.
In 2005, a nationwide toilet-cleaning exercise to promote social awareness on the importance of clean public toilets was held in conjunction with World Toilet Day, which involved presidents and officers of 145 local councils.
In September 2007, the Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) was reported to have launched a Clean Toilet Month campaign.
DBKL’s Health Department had released pamphlets and flyers containing guidelines on toilet usage as well as a standard cleanliness protocol to be adhered to by cleaners.
“City Hall has spent a lot of money in maintaining and providing public toilet facilities.
“The issue of toilet hygiene is everyone’s responsibility and not just the authorities.
“If all toilet users start practising good civic consciousness towards toilet usage, I’m sure the problem of dirty toilets will be solved, ” said then DBKL deputy director-general for service Mohd Amin Nordin Abd Aziz.