Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Toilet king of Malaysia calls it a day

Malaysia’s “toilet king” is stepping down next month after a five-year reign.

Datuk Robert Lau Hoi Chew, who earned the nickname for his tireless effort in fighting for clean public toilets in the country, said: “It is an unfinished business but I have to move on.”

The 67-year-old accountant-turned-politician was inducted into the Housing and Local Government Ministry’s clean toilet campaign when he was the deputy minister in 2004.

His mission came to an end when he was appointed Deputy Transport Minister last month.

Lau is best remembered for setting up the first toilet association in Malaysia — Quality Restroom Assocation Malaysia (QRAM) — of which he has been chairman since its inception in 2005.

The Sibu MP said he is not seeking re-election at the QRAM annual general meeting to be held next month.

He said it is time for the Government to wield the stick on the country’s 148 local authorities so that they were serious in making sure that the 250,000 public toilets within their jurisdictions are clean.

“Only 60 local authorities took part in a star-rating programme for public toilets last year,” he lamented.