Dr Mahathir Mohamad said today he is embarrassed by the dirty and smelly state of public toilets in the country which reflects the poor civic responsibility of Malaysians.
“I am very embarrassed. I often inspect toilets in Malaysia to see whether they are clean. Usually, they are not.
“This reflects our attitude. We should be ashamed, but we think no one will know who was responsible,” the prime minister said when launching civics education for schools.
In contrast, public toilets in some other countries are very clean, he said, adding that this is so because the users do not dirty them.
“Why? It’s because they feel they have a responsibility and appreciate the public perception of them. As such, they will keep themselves clean and will not do anything that dirties the toilets.
“It is the same with actions that pollute the environment, such as dumping refuse everywhere and scribbling on walls.
“It is alright if we do a mural on walls, but scribbling only tarnishes the cleanliness of the walls alongside roads in the cities,” he said.
Dr Mahathir said this was not due to the laws not being strict, but because of individuals who lack self-discipline.
“Even the children (in Japan) do not discard wrappers anywhere. They fold them neatly and throw them into refuse bins,” he said.