Opening Address by Mr Baey Yam Keng, Senior Parliamentary Secretary for Sustainability and the Environment, at the LOO Awards 2022, on 18 November 2022
Mr Ho Chee Kit, President, Restroom Association (Singapore)
Mr Andrew Khng, Deputy Chairman, Public Hygiene Council
Mr Allen Ang, Board Technical Lead, Singapore Green Building Council
1 Good morning. Thank you for inviting me to join you at this year’s Let’s Observe Ourselves (also commonly known as LOO) Awards Ceremony.
World Toilet Day and 14th Let’s Observe Ourselves (LOO) Awards
2 Tomorrow marks the 9th year of the United Nations (UN) World Toilet Day since the UN adopted a resolution tabled by Singapore in 2013, to designate 19 November as World Toilet Day. The Restroom Association (Singapore), or RAS in short, has been organising the LOO Awards annually to commemorate World Toilet Day. The LOO Awards also seek to recognise exemplary contributors in various sectors and organisations. Since 2009, there have been more than 400 award recipients, including organisations, schools, individuals, and most importantly, our restroom cleaning attendants.
3 I am glad that we are able to hold the 14th LOO Awards Ceremony in-person today, after a two-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This year’s LOO Awards is also one of the satellite events supporting the National Environment Agency’s Clean & Green Singapore initiative.
5th Edition of the Guide to Better Public Toilet Design and Maintenance
4 As we emerge from the pandemic, it is important for us not to forget the lessons learnt, and continue keeping our public restrooms clean and safe for everyone. In his welcome address, Mr Ho shared that the 5th edition of the Guide to Better Public Toilet Design and Maintenance will include effective products against viruses.
5 As owners and operators of restrooms in public areas, your adoption of technology-based restroom products can provide a better user experience with effective cleaning and maintenance. For example, past award recipients such as Marina Bay Sands and Maritime & Port Authority of Singapore adopted smart cleaning solutions for their 6-star restrooms.
Restroom Association (Singapore) and Singapore Green Building Council Collaboration
6 Last year, the Restroom Association (Singapore) collaborated with Singapore Green Building Council to certify smart restroom products that are green, durable and reliable.
7 This year, I am pleased to share that products from three companies have been certified for the first time. I hope more owners and operators will start engaging companies with certified smart restroom products to enhance their operations.
Collective Effort in Promoting Public Restroom Cleanliness
8 Partnerships among owners, operators and the community play an important role in promoting public restroom cleanliness. The Restroom Association (Singapore) introduced a new community-sector organisation category this year to encourage individuals to do their part for public restroom cleanliness. One award recipient Yuhua Eco Sustainability Group, consists of a group of residents participating in the Neighbourhood Toilets Community Group initiative launched by the Public Hygiene Council.
9 The partnership between the operator of PDSS coffeeshop at Block 318B Jurong East and the volunteer group has raised public awareness on the shared responsibility for public restroom cleanliness. The group also helps to decorate the restrooms and provide feedback on the conditions of the restrooms to the coffeeshop operator.
10 I am also glad to share that among the 59 award recipients today, almost half of them are our committed restroom attendants. They truly deserve our recognition and appreciation. Let us all give a round of applause to thank them for their tireless dedication.
11 Madam Tan Geok Eng, who works with LS2 Services Pte Ltd, obtained the highest judging score for her dedication to maintaining the restrooms at Dazhong Primary School, and also for completing seven Workforce Skills Qualifications related to environmental cleaning modules. Madam Tan also often shares good restroom etiquette with students during their recess breaks. Thank you, Madam Tan.
12 Proper restroom etiquette should be inculcated from young. This can be achieved through hands-on and interactive projects conducted in schools to help our children understand the importance of public hygiene. This year, three primary school students who are strong advocates of restroom cleanliness will be awarded for their active involvement.
13 Josiah Tan, a student leader from Chongfu School, led his team of prefects to decorate restrooms and design posters. He also organised activities to raise awareness of restroom cleanliness. Erela Chia and Joanne Lim from Westwood Primary School took the initiative to design hand-drawn and painted posters about restroom cleanliness. Joanne even produced a video clip on good restroom etiquette to encourage her peers to keep the restrooms clean.
14 As role models, teachers also play a crucial role in nurturing our younger generation with good restroom etiquette. Preschool teachers Ms Clarice Chan from Cherie Hearts @ Charlton, and Madam Anizah Bte Ahmad from PCF Sparkletots Preschool @ Choa Chu Kang Blk 10, educated preschoolers on the importance of showing kindness and gratitude to our cleaning attendants. Both teachers guided their preschoolers to create thank-you cards and gifts for the cleaning attendants.
15 Congratulations to all award recipients for their commendable contributions. Your efforts and actions are crucial in promoting good public restroom hygiene and cleanliness.
16 I also thank the Restroom Association (Singapore) for organising the annual LOO Awards, and I hope to see more award recipients next year.
17 Let us continue to do our part to keep our public restrooms clean and hygienic.
18 Thank you.