Monday, 15 October 2012
Tuesday, 5 July 2011
Many years ago we used to have a Keep Singapore Clean Campaign. Later we upgraded it to the Keep Singapore Clean and Green Movement. Recently we further upgraded (that’s Singapore for you, we believe in continuous upgrading) that to the Keep Singapore Beautiful Movement.
As for me, I say, let’s bring back Operation Broomstick. What’s the point in trying to be green when you cannot even be clean? And if you are dirty, there no way you can be beautiful, right?
What is Operation Broomstick?
According to the People’s Association’s publication, Citizens, Conversations & Collaborations: Chronicles of the Citizens’ Consultative Committee:
“The Housing and Development Board launches Operation Broomstick in 1968 to clear housing estates of litter and rubbish, and CCC leaders are there to help get residents to take an active part in the massive nationwide operation – right down to elderly women with their own brooms.”
The second photo shows Health Minister Chua Sian Chin at MacPherson Estate
"PM Lee personally leads the way in a mass drive to spring-clean the city for the National Loyalty Week in 1959."
Saturday, 11 December 2010
I am one of those lucky Singaporeans who get not one, but two free newspapers delivered to his doorstep practically every day. From Monday to Friday, I get My Paper; and from Monday to Saturday, I get Today. In addition, I subscribe to the Straits Times.
It was raining this morning (Saturday) and as usual our free copy of Today was totally ruined by the rain as the delivery man didn’t bother to throw it further into our driveway. On the other hand, our paid copy of the Straits Times was nice and dry.
So why the difference? I can only surmise that the difference lay in the attitudes of the delivery men. In the case of the Straits Times, the vendor knows that if the newspaper was damaged by the rain, we would complain and he would have to make another trip and compensate us. In the case of the Today, he probably thinks; “Ah .. it’s free, so these people won’t dare to complain” .... and he is right.
Photo above - my neighbour's newspapers; below - ours.
Wasted toilet paper
The other day I had to use the public toilet in a shopping centre in the Bukit Timah area. To my horror, I saw that somebody had removed the entire roll of toilet paper – and these are the commercial rolls which are much bigger than the normal ones we used at home – and dumped them on the cistern. When I brought it to the attention of the toilet attendant/cleaner, he told me this was a common occurrence. “What to do? Free one; not their own money; so anyhow waste lor!”.
Sigh. How depressing to hear this. But never mind. Let me cheer you up with a joke.
Early in my career, I worked as an industrial engineer in Philips. We had many Dutch expatriates; but my boss was a Belgian. It was really fun to attend social functions with these people because they liked to trade insults/jokes about each other's country. I remember this joke told by my Belgian boss. He said; “If you drove from Belgium into Holland, how would you know that you have crossed the border? Well you can easily tell by the rolls of toilet paper hanging out to dry in the backyard. They use it at least twice, you know!”
Friday, 19 November 2010
Last Monday, 15 November 2010, I was in Kuching to deliver a paper at the Sarawak Regional 5S Convention (Konvensyen 5S Wilayah Sarawak). It was an eye-opener for me because even though we’ve had 5S in Singapore since 1986, we never organised a 5S convention. The biggest 5S event in Singapore as far as I can remember was the award-presentation ceremony for the Inter-company 5S Competition in 1989.
Organised by the Malaysia Productivity Corporation (Sarawak Office), this Regional 5S Convention drew a huge crowd of more than 250 participants. I should congratulation the MPC for having done such a great job in promoting 5S in Sarawak. The highlights of this convention were:
1) 5S Song by Sedidik Sdn Bhd (a Childcare Centre)
2) Performance by Sekolah Seni Kuching
3) Presentation of 5S Certificates to ‘5S-certified’ companies
4) My paper on “Issues of Sustaining 5S practices”
5) Presentation by Hospital Tenom, Sabah – “Enhancing excellenct service delivery through 5S practices”
6) Presentation by Jabatan Pendaftaran Negara – “Developing, sustaining and impact of Quality Environment Practices”
7) Presentation by Sarawak Land and Survey – “Organisational transformation through 5S practices”
As a result of seeing the huge efforts put in by the participating companies, I am alerted to one other danger. Fatigue or overload can cause the leaders at the front line to grow weary or even apprehensive of 5S activities. I have seen this happen in many organisations here in Singapore with respect to the Quality Circle movement. Still, with the PDCA approach, the management can look out for and manage this problem. As the 5S movement matures, emphasis should shift from ‘song-and-dance’ type promotion to incorporating 5S into the daily operational processes; in other words, Standardization.
Friday, 14 May 2010
b) Always questioning existing methods of doing things,
c) Always looking for better ways of doing things,
d) Open to new ideas no matter where they came from,
e) Constantly coming up with new ideas and innovations.
An example of reduced motions
Wednesday, 7 April 2010
b) Always questioning existing methods of doing things.
c) Always looking for better ways of doing things.
d) Open to new ideas no matter where they came from.
Friday, 19 March 2010
Chapter 1: What is a Staff Suggestion Scheme?
Chapter 2: The Role of the Suggestion Scheme Committee
Chapter 3: The Role of managers and supervisors
Chapter 4: The Role of the suggester
Summary of Part 1
Part 2: The 4 stages of making a suggestion
Chapter 5: Problem finding - How to Spot opportunities for Improvement
Chapter 6: Fact finding - How to Investigate Problems
Chapter 7: Idea finding - How to Get Ideas
Chapter 8: Solution finding - How to Write Suggestions
Summary of Part 2
List of Japanese terms used in this book
References and further reading
About the author