Courses for toilet cleaning

Are we truly bad when it comes to toilet cleanliness?

Regardless this, it would appear that some quarters believe that we need to have special courses to ensure that we understand how to keep toilets clean. An article from highlights this amusing… and rather embarassing i must say article.

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia — It’s never too late for toilet training. Some Malaysian colleges may soon offer courses on how to keep public restrooms clean, the national news agency reported Thursday.

The effort is meant to help Malaysia’s public lavatories become as hygienic as those in countries such as Britain and Singapore, Deputy Housing and Local Government Minister Robert Lau was quoted as saying by Bernama news agency.

“Clean toilets cannot merely be judged by the eyes,” Lau was quoted as saying. “This matter also involves the use of cleaning equipment, soap, fragrances and proper tissues.”

Courses would involve managing washrooms by the highest standards in design and sanitation technology, said Lau.

Malaysia’s government recently said it wanted to start a “toilet revolution” in a country where public restrooms have long nauseated citizens and tourists with their lack of basic items such as toilet paper, soap and sometimes even toilet seats.

Lau said his ministry plans to soon introduce a system for the public to lodge complaints about filthy toilets via cell phone text messages.

Other recent measures have included setting up modern self-cleaning toilets in popular shopping districts of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia’s largest city, and scrapping the business licenses of restaurants found to have foul lavatories.

Now, self cleaning toilets. A bit of overkill huh?

Project one laptop per child

A friend of mine shared the following link.

It is an interesting coverage of the one laptop per child project entitled “No lap un-topped – the bottom up revolution that could re-define global IT culture“. The presentation was made by Nicholas Negroponte, who is a Motorola Director and Chairman Emeritus MIT Labs & Chairman One Laptop per Child. The presentation was dated 2 December 2006. More on Nicholas.

I found the whole idea and concept very interesting. This is the kind of catalyst that could possibly change the way we deliver education around the world. Making the laptops affordable (not more than USD100.00) and ubiquitous is the key factor here. Other interesting ideas for the laptop is using human (as opposed to battery or AC/DC power) and Wi-Fi mesh networking to allow networking in the remotest of locations.

Any thoughts of this bridging the digital divide in Malaysia?

Creative thinking and problem solving

One of the challenges at the office is getting the workforce to generate creativity. Our company is in the internet business, and it is therefore necessary for all of us to be dynamic in our thinking so as to be ahead of the game – or at least at the leading bunch.

However, years of rigid education system, a culture of not challenging status quo & seniority, and an evironment of feeding information (as opposed to seeking information) makes creative thinking something of a curiousity than the norm.

The pity is that all this puts all of us at a severe disadvantage compared to other nations.

Yet, all is not lost. The first challenge is to foster this creative thinking environment at the workplace. There are many tools and techniques available.

The key to the adoption of creative thinking at the workplace is top management buy-in and sponsorship. Transforming an organisation from a passive to a creative one will not happen overnight. The changes will be painful. Some may be counter intuitive.

It is therefore also vital that everybody believes in the process. Not difficult given the existing cultural norms. Sponsorship is also vital given that the cost of change may be significant in monetary as well as human capital terms.

But these are the mere first steps. As usual, I have been doing a bit of my own research on the net – – almost randomly, I came across some material that could be useful. So check out – a site dedicated to improving Creativity and Innovation for solving problems woldwide, with that in mind, we provide a central repository for Creativity and Innovation on the Internet as a summary of tools, techniques, mind exercises, puzzles, book reviews etc, that is open to all – and can be written by all.

Feel free to share your thoughts here.