10 April 2010
Saturday April 10, 2010
KUALA LUMPUR: Datuk Robert Lau Hoi Chew was a friendly and cheerful man who will be fondly remembered for many things – from his dedication in building schools to his crusade for clean public toilets.
His determination was powered by his strong desire to do something good for the people. The Sibu MP, who spearheaded the toilet revolution in Malaysia six years ago, had attracted the attention of then Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak who called him the “Toilet King of Malaysia”.
The 68-year-old accountant-turned-politician was the authority on public toilets.
Born into a poor farmer’s family and losing his mother at the age of five, the sentimental Lau, a devoted Catholic, had a vivid record of his life journey at www.roberthclau.com.
Today, the prominent Lau family controls the KTS group, a powerful conglomerate founded by his late brother Datuk Seri Lau Hui Kang, with interest in the timber industry and media.
The Deputy Housing and Local Government Minister had spearheaded the ministry’s clean toilet campaign in 2004.
He set up the first toilet association in Malaysia – Quality Restroom Association Malaysia (QRAM) and was its chairman from 2005 to last year.
“Public toilets are a gateway to a country and reflective of the country’s development and their people’s culture,” was Lau’s favourite quote.
He loved schools, even during his younger days when he had to walk an hour through rubber estates and forests to get his education.
Lau met his wife Janet Lau, daughter of a primary school teacher in his village when he was doing English tuition.
May he rest in peace and God bless him.
By FOONG PEK YEE
The Star, Malaysia