20 October 2019, Sunday | 02:22am

Pay it forward, keep toilets clean

2019-09-27

SEPANG: With Visit Malaysia Year 2020 just a few months away, tourist arrivals are expected to increase significantly.

It is important to give a positive impression to tourists by displaying a high level of cleanliness and hygiene in our public facilities.

This starts with instilling a culture of cleanliness among the young. In view of this, Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd (MAHB), since December 2017, has been organising annual awareness campaigns to educate schoolchildren on toilet etiquette.

Launched in conjunction with the World Toilet Day and themed “Pay It Forward”, the campaign has seen some 800 pupils from 10 schools in Sepang visiting the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) to learn about toilet cleanliness and etiquette since the inception of the

programme.

The campaign is held in collaboration with the Education and Housing and Local Government ministries, as well as the Sepang Municipal Council.

Pupils learning about proper handwashing technique.

In the latest series of the campaign, KLIA welcomed 39 Year Four pupils of SK Kg Baharu Lanjut to learn about toilet cleanliness at the bustling terminal.

During the trip, pupils were taught the importance of keeping toilets dry, handwashing techniques, the GoGreen concept using the hand dryer, the proper way to dispose of rubbish and the importance of not squatting on the toilet bowl.

The boys were excited during the lessons at the toilet and responded eagerly to the questions posed by a facilitator, while the girls were more reserved and organised.

Pupil M. Zharif Nuqman Mohd Khairol said it was uncomfortable to use a toilet with a wet floor.

M. Zharif Nuqman Mohd Khairol

“Sometimes, we don’t have any choice when we are at public places,” he said.

“It is good to see clean toilets here,” he said.

His friend, M. Adam Hadif Mohd Helmi, said he learnt about proper handwashing technique.

M. Adam Hadif Mohd Helmi

He said many people used public toilets, so everybody must be mindful of cleanliness.

Aisyah Humairah Mohd Hizrian said as Malaysia would be welcoming many tourists, it was important to keep the toilets clean.

Aisyah Humairah Mohd Hizrian

“If there are a lot of germs, diseases can spread easily,” she said.

“It was an unforgettable trip and I can’t wait to tell my mum about it.”

Wafiqah Uzma Zahri said she was impressed with the cleanliness of the toilets at KLIA.

She expressed her appreciation for the janitors who kept them spick and span.

“We must not throw rubbish in the toilet or toilet bowl. Other people will have to clean up for us when the toilet gets clogged.”

Wafiqah Uzma Zahri

Teacher Mohamad Norazfizal Norizan, 26, said the trip was important to mould the younger generation on civic consciousness.

“We must tell them that they must leave the toilet in a good condition and they should not be selfish when using public property,” he said.

“We need to start training them early. Children absorb lessons like a sponge. These pupils will talk to their friends about what they have learnt and this is how we can spread this positive message.”

He said when the children had a positive attitude, the aspiration to become a developed nation could be better realised.

“At school, teachers can do spot checks on the toilets to ensure they are clean.”

MAHB terminal operations senior manager Junita Aziz showing pupils how to use the Smiley Panel to provide feedback.

MAHB corporate communications general manager Nik Anis Nik Zakaria said the initiative augured well with the launch of the civic education programme under the Education Ministry by Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad on Aug 13 this year.

“This campaign is called ‘Pay It Forward’ because we want to educate the public and encourage users to pay forward the kindness by ensuring a clean toilet for the subsequent users.”

Nik Anis said after the trip, pupils would write an essay and a winner will be selected from each school.

Pupils learning why they shouldn’t throw rubbish into toilet bowls.

“We hope to expand the programme to other airports nationwide next year.”

She said to ensure top-notch cleanliness at the airport, they have a Washroom Response Management system to manage information and ratings gathered from a Smiley Panel.

As part of its efforts to champion toilet cleanliness, MAHB won the National- and Asean-level award in a competition organised by the Tourism and Culture Ministry last year.

 

Source & picture: NST https://bit.ly/2lxQ2dZ

 

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