Earlier this year, Local Government Development Minister, Nga Kor Ming made a surprise visit to Dataran Merdeka to check on the maintenance of public infrastructure and facilities in the city. Among the things he found in our public facilities, including toilets, are in need of repairs.
According to Nga, this is because the cleanliness of public toilets is closely related to the image of the country, especially in the main tourist destinations or gateways to our country.
Meanwhile, it seems that Nga is taking this matter seriously.
During an appearance on Astro Awani’s Agenda Awani programme, Nga revealed that the government would be handing out the ‘Toilet of the Year’ award to the cleanest public toilet effective immediately.
He said this initiative is part of the government’s efforts to improve the overall cleanliness of public toilets in the country, which had been our embarrassment for a long time.
“I don’t care if people call me the toilet minister because what’s important is for me to solve an issue that is close to the hearts of the people,” he said.
“Public toilets should not be disregarded as those located in tourist spots and gateways into the country are what give tourists their first impression of Malaysia,” he added.
Nga also shared that the award would be judged based on the dubbed ‘BMW’ concept, which were the Malay initials for bersih (clean), menawan (attractive) and wangi (pleasant smelling).
Dirty toilets had been our embarrassment
Dirty toilets have been an issue for Malaysians for many years, with many locals and foreigners complaining about the lack of maintenance and poor hygiene.
In 2019, the then Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said he was very embarrassed when he inspects public toilets in Malaysia.
“Most of the time, they are filthy and stinking,” he was quoted as saying by Free Malaysia Today.
Dr Mahathir also attributed issue to the state of civic-mindedness among the people and said that many could not be bothered to keep toilets clean.
What do you think about this award? Share your thoughts!