The cleanliness of public toilets reflects the governance of any institution, said Transport Minister Anthony Loke.
Speaking at the lunch of an incentive campaign by WCT Malls for students who use KLIA2, he said that cleanliness reflects the culture of a country, and the state of our toilets tells a lot about the people here.
“That is why their condition is very important,” he was quoted as saying by The Star.
Citing a chapter in a recent leadership book authored by Henry Kissinger, Loke said the late Lee Kuan Yew gave so much emphasis on the condition of public toilets, especially those at the Changi airport.
“The book was describing how Lee transformed Changi into what it is today. He had requested a weekly report, not of the airport passenger numbers, but on the state of toilets,” said Loke.
“If you can’t manage a toilet, then you can’t manage an airport,” he added.
Former Singaporean Transport Minister shares the same experience
Loke went on an official visit to Singapore three days ago, and he managed to meet up with Khaw Boon Wan, a former transport minister of the republic, who told him the same thing.
“He told me the same thing when we talked about transforming the public transport system. When he was tasked with transforming the Singapore MRT system, which suffered major breakdowns in 2011, he sought some clues on the maintenance culture by looking at the toilets in the depot.”
“He said when he went to the train maintenance depot, he went to check the toilets as one of the first things on the list. If the toilet is in a mess, then the team is in shambles and needs to go. If you cannot manage the toilet, then how can you manage and maintain the trains that carry millions a day?” said Loke.
“Of course, airports must be lively and vibrant, as it creates the right mood and ambience, and the most important challenge is the recovery of the service sector.”
Meanwhile, Loke also said that the government welcomes all initiatives, including the private sector, to work together in rejuvenating the retail, tourism and travel sectors.
“It is good to see efforts to create vibrancy and buzz at KLIA2,” he said.