My grandfather's toilet

He told me his grandfather was a kampong head man many many years ago. And his grandfather told his father this story, and his father told him the same story. His grandfather wanted to build a public toilet for the kampong. That was when his headache started. You think building a toilet in those days was so easy ya? Actually it was, for the unthinking. Building a toilet was the easiest thing to do. Find a spot, build a small cubicle, and there you are, a toilet, overnight.

But things got complicated when a smart alec in the kampong offered his help. He told the grandfather that he had been thinking, obviously a thinker. He said he could see so many problems about building a public toilet. You need to find the idea location where it could be used by the most people. It must be conveniently located, the smell must not disturb the people. It must cater for the men and women, the adult, the young and the old, and those on wheel chairs. The building must be robust, of good material. It must be easy for the night soil collector to clear the shit. It must take into consideration the future when it could be converted into a flush system....by now the grandfather's head went blank from information overflow. It was too much to take.

So the grandfather told him to stop his thinking and just tell him what needed to be done. The smart alec said it was big problem and he too did not know what to do. He said his good friend, a consultant, could help. The grandfather said good, go get your friend to help. The consultant came and went and came back with a long list of do's and don'ts. The problem got even more complicated and more confusing. The consultant got into more serious thinking.

The grandfather gave up. It was beyond him to fathom why got so many problems when he could build the toilet with the help of a carpenter in the village. He shook his head and told the smart alec to engage the consultant to build the toilet. The consultant assured the grandfather village head man that he had thought through all the problems and there would be no problem after the toilet was build.

A few weeks later a beautiful toilet was built for the kampong and everyone was praising the reasons why the toilet was built, its location, design, material used, etc etc. And the consultant sent the bill to the grandfather village head for $10k. This was big money in those days when a car cost $3,000. The grandfather was shocked. Why so much? The consultant said $9,800 was his fee for thinking so hard about all the problems and $200 was for building the toilet.

End of story. QED. Who said it is difficult to build a little toilet?


Anonymous said...

The moral of the story is they have to tell a long tale in order to justify the exhorbitant cost. They know, but who knows, that some parts of the tale may be fabricated to make it sound extremely difficult to understand. I sure cannot understand, because it is such a complicated project - I mean the toilet!

But rest assured, they will do the necessary checks and balances to make sure this does not happen again. When it happens, just say, you cannot expect such things not to happen. It is once in 51 years lah!

Anonymous said...

"The consultant said $9,800 was his fee for thinking so hard about all the problems and $200 was for building the toilet."

It's like that one lah. If not, why do you think our ministers are paid so much? To think hard lah, tio bo?

Because the opposition is not even thinking to be govt, let alone think hard, so no choice 70% Sinkies have to vote PAP to be govt to think hard for Sinkies lor.

Anonymous said...

It seems that every problem in Sinkieland is the opposition's fault. Great thinker!

Anonymous said...

there is a very very interesting similar article on
grandmother's toilet @ mr brown blog.....


Anonymous said...

Talking about that grandfather toilet......

I want to laugh.......

Cheap! Cheap! Cheap!

Why? What's wrong? I have a lot of spare money to throw! Why cannot!?

Come and do if you think you are so very smart!

Otherwise don't just kpkb there.

Be quiet!

Anonymous said...

RB s story telling is better than Lee Tai Sor. The rubbish dump opposite Funan was said to need $400000 consultant s fees to design, and $420000 to construct. Wonderful stuff.

Anonymous said...

Everyone should just wear diapers. Ownself take care ownself. Keep shit to yourself too. 70% would vote yes

Anonymous said...

The rubbish dump opposite Funan was said to need $400000 consultant s fees to design...
9:25 am

Is there a case for CPIB?

Anonymous said...

Building rubbish dumps, toilets and treating shit water is big business nowadays.

And we thought it was all shit and nothing but shit!

virgo49 said...

Hello good moaning,

Don't charge you by hundreds of thousands how to recover my costs of studying many many years to be a consultant? ?

Study from play school alreafy 10k. Kindergarten another 10k. Primary school another 10k
Secondary another 10k. Junior colleges another 10k.
Uni wow another fee hundred thousand grands.

After graduation next two years unemployed due to lost out to one instant printing mill degree.

Ask GKS how they build first fee batches camps with dug in toilets.

So cheap, just pour chemicals every morning to disinfect the worms.

Cheap Labour 60$ NS men to clean everyday.

Anonymous said...

/// The consultant said $9,800 was his fee for thinking so hard about all the problems and $200 was for building the toilet. ///

- the grandfather and his carpenter could just build a lousy toilet for $200 in the first attempt.
- after 6 months, discover design no good
- build a new 2nd toilet for another $200
- and if 2nd toilet no good
- spend another $200 to build a 3rd toilet

It's called trial and error
- learn by doing and trying
- and in the process
- the village carpenter would have become a toilet expert by the 4th or 5th toilet
- and this is how you develop and upgrade local Singaporean skills and talent

We used to do this learn by trial and error
- and Singaporeans became became the public housing experts of the world

Then we started paying million dollar salaries to our Ministers and scholars.
And now we are no longer the public housing experts
- our HDB flats are now lousy and expensive\

Anonymous said...

Anon 9:44am
The total cost $880000 for a rubbish bin is a real similar fact case.

What is CPIB? Wua boh bat.

Chua Chin Leng aka redbean said...

What Bin Centre are you people talking about. I just visited Mr Brown and he was talking about a piece of art, a national monument.

Anonymous said...

If the toilet is too cheap, nobody is going to use it. They may think this is for

peasants only. If you pay high price ,elites and aristo rates perceive it to be state of the art toilet

So all q to use. Same logic as paying a minister high salary so they are not look down

by business people when they meet with them.

Anonymous said...

Which one more serious? AHPETC or this one?

Anonymous said...

Maybe I should pay a visit to the top top toilet!

Opened for tourists?

Huat Ah! Huat Ah! Huat Ah!

Anonymous said...

And the draft complained that HDB flats are expensive...

Anonymous said...

Ho say leow, another tourist attraction. Can charge entry fee, $5, to the most expensive rubbish bin.

Anonymous said...

Anon 10:31am
AHPETC might have built that kind of expensive rubbish bin. Must be somewhere. What do u think?

May be they hire different consultants, correct?
How big can a rubbish bib be? 12feet x 10feet appro from what i see at estate, similar to that one in picture.

If every estate has this price $880000 per rubbish bin, then WP might also has a few there. How much does WP pay for such standard design rubbish bin? $880000? or higher?

That one in town consultants charge $410000. Very reasonable fee. No wonder the price was accepted. Wonder got open tender or not?

Anonymous said...

Tiok tiok

Very the Tiok.

patriot said...

me am wondering how
much l was made to pay
for the 2 toilets in my HDB

Did l get ketok jialatx2?


Anonymous said...

1 rubbish bin equals to two HDB 5 room flats. Or 1 condo apartment.

Cheap or not?

Anonymous said...

You people don't complain lar as you may not know anything behind the scene. If the minister is ok with it, it must be ok as we also have the own self check own self system and the check reveal nothing unusual.

Unless u got nothing better to do lar. I think we have bigger thing in reserve to think about and worry over this small amount so elephant in the room u also never notice, very jialat

Anonymous said...

I hope Donald Trump becomes USA President.
Then he will tear up the TPP.
Free trade = more unemployment for Singaporeans.

Let's put an end to the global-elitist Aristocrats who will enrich themselves with more millions in salaries

Anonymous said...

I should have gone into the rubbish industry.

SG Girl

Anonymous said...

What is self-check? The right hand checking the left hand? I guess this is the most transparent system on the planet!

Anonymous said...

Correct own sell check own sell. If someone ask how much WP spent to build rubbish bin. Guarantee, faint for the hearer because of the figure and the difference between Pap and Wp when building a rubbish bin.

b said...

Not difficult to build toilets but must make it somehow can transfer a lot of public money into private hands will demand some intelligence. Inflating invoiced amounts is one easy way.

Anonymous said...

Wrong way to inflate invoice. Get a consultant for air flow and charge $100000, get a consultant for hygiene, charge $100000, get a consultant for water piles flows charge $50000, get a consultant for safety charge $50000. get a sexy model to grace the event for opening charge $20000, get the local politician to inspect the toilet charge $50000, get the ministar to peer inside, charge $50000.
The toilet will be perfect for business.

Anonymous said...

Anon 2:21pm
Self check means u set your own standards to check. This is pap standard.
example. one day today had 3 smrt breakdowns. self check should set standard one day 5 breakdowns is considered not good. 3 breakdown is considered good.
So the score is ok lah. relax smrt. ministar cow will come out to say, celebrate passed quality test.

RB s toilet set too high standard. The bill should be $2 millions for consultants fees to build the toilet and building cost is $200. Make this pap standard. No more argument or u will have to go to court to answer for whatever charges someone reporting to police for investigation.
U will give up to ask why consultant s charges is $2millions. Next year will be $4millions for toilet consultancy, and 1 day can have mrt breakdown 5 times. Then everything is within standard. Tell WP to get lose, my foot to wp, pap is doing very well.

Anonymous said...

Anon 3.32

Than must all be 'ka ki nan'? Otherwise easy to 'pua kan tau'. Like that, unless officially sanctioned digging deep deep underground than can find out.

WP wants to dig surely can not one. Aung Juan Soon Chee wants to dig also no way one.

Only AGO can dig. But with so much dirt dug out, someone in AGO sure kena jiak lat one. Backside sure open one.

Anonymous said...

Can we now say that in Sin nobody
can be be trusted?

From top to bottom, from professional to pimp and
prostitute are all crooks.

virgo49 said...

Anon 1016 u really smart. Knows Sinkie mentality as ordained by the PAP the last fifty one year.

In sinkieland if the thing is cheap, must be low value and lousy one.

That's why ministers must be paid millions to have class.

The Sinkie will harped that his car is worth 100.over k.His flat, condo and terrace or bwanang Soi Loi (fools) must be in the seven to eight figures or else low class.

When they drove their cars and stopped at traffic junctions they will turn here and there whether people got observed or not my hundreds over K car at maximum loan and eat plain bread and water.

Their poorer cousins in Matland be laughing at the same model car only at a fraction of what Sinkie paid. Some more higher power and with extra accessories.

But Sinkies been Sinkies will always thinks that his car costs more so should be more superior.

So things must not come cheap in sinkieland or else no class.

Anonymous said...

My Grandfather's Train System - SMRT confirms that its Emergency button only works when train is not moving


What about our 2nd key?
Does it work only after the country has gone bankrupt?

Anonymous said...

Likely so.

Anonymous said...

All missed the point.

The question is who will clean the toilet ?

Anonymous said...

My GGGGF was also a kumpong hateman, also told my GGGF the same storey. The thinker advised him to build a rear guard bomb proof toilet in case one day a VVIP happens to use it and he was targeted (as you see them in James Bond or Jackie chan action movies), else all the "sai" will spill all over. This thinker also say it must double up as an escape route, that's why he charges a lot for thinking of all the scenario.

Rachel W said...

Great toilet story. I have read another interesting post about western tourists' encounter with public toilets in Singapore. You should check it out too.