Readers Charisma and Bayi have brought up a topic that is, er, so to speak at the seat of Malaysian culture. Unspun is of the opinion that owing to the fact that its Visit Malaysia Year this year the subject deserves an airing in a posting of its own, instead of comments in another posting. Wonder if othermalaysians can help us get to the bottom of this subject.

  • Charismah // Jan 17th 2007 at 1:39 pm (edit)

    Thank you, Bayi, for opening up the subject of cleansiness in KL. I’ve been living away from Malaysia for almost 20 years, and the one thing that I cannot understand is – How come the public toilets in the country have not improved? Every time I go back to visit, I am irked and disappointed and ashamed to see the toilets there still so filthy. Even places like KLCC, which is supposed to be an major tourist attraction, has pretty dirty toilets.

    Filthy toilets there, in my opinion, are caused by:
    (1) Lax cleaning efforts/standards of hygiene. Do the building managements not see the need to improve the hygiene standards? Don’t they at least notice the bad smells coming from the toilets?
    (2) Uncivilised toilet-using habits of the locals. Malaysians have one of the most disgusting habits in using toilets. It’s very common to enter a cubicle and find the toilet seat sprayed with urine (if they want to squat on it to pee, at least clean up afterwards), unflushed feces in the toilet bowl when the flush is working (or worse, smears of feces that I imagine are wiped with the hand on walls), or menstrual blood everywhere/used sanitary towels carelessly discarded. To me, it speaks of a total disregard for other users and disrespect for fellow human beings.

    I now live in Thailand, and most toilets here are immaculately clean. Why can’t Malaysians evolve to having more civilised toilet-using habits along with the country’s development?

    What does it say about Malaysians on the whole?

  • bayi // Jan 17th 2007 at 2:23 pm (edit)


    Thank you for highlighting the dirty toilet problem which wasn’t even what I was thinking when I first wrote my comments. I wish I could explain this but even if I could, it wouldn’t help solve the problem. Yes, I am a Malaysian and I have problems understanding why Malaysians behave this way. I believe in punitive measures if persuasion does not bring results but obviously the authorities think otherwise. Somehow it escapes these people’s thinking that keeping the toliets clean benefits everyone.

    It’s Visit Malaysia Year 2007 and the people promoting the country have not seen it fit to eradicate this problem, Instead they have installed some very, very expensive toilets that can clean themselves. I wonder what that means but I do know that these toilets are very expensive and installing them won’t help create better and more hygenic habits.