Tales from the Jamban kills 99.9% of germs

Tales from the Jamban kills 99.9% of germs

Tales from the Jamban kills 99.9% of germs

The infamous Malaysian toilet commonly referred to as the “Jamban” is not for the faint-hearted. I use the public toilets with trepidation on an absolutely, NEED to basics.


This is how Malaysia gained the reputation of having the worst toilet in the world.

You Will Never Know What You Will Find in the Jamban

The stench and visual horrors range from “flooded” toilets, no toilet paper, shoe scuffs and marks on toilet seats and piles of urine soaked toilet paper next to the WC.

The worst is the bum-gun; (a handheld bidet or a flexible hose!) to wash down after defecating. I have stood outside waiting patiently. In the toilet cubicle, I could hear a female office worker having a go with the handgun for a whole 10 minutes. Unbelievable!

The spray trickled out and wets the entire floor. It seeped through the next toilet cubicle.

I almost ran next door to use the gent which was cleaner, dryer and less embarrassing!

Tales from the Jamban kills 99.9% of germs
Yoga is a great way to keep your digestive tract moving and prevent constipation. Photo: Doris Lim

Tales from the Jamban

Producer/Director & Playwright, Fa Abdul says, “People do not only visit the toilet to drop their “bombs”. If you try sitting quietly in a public toilet cubicle, you will see all the extraordinary things that take place within the confines of the stinky four-walls of a Malaysian jamban (toilet).”

I agree with Fa.

Life happens in the toilet.

If you ask Julie, she might not be able to answer you immediately.

Tales from the Jamban kills 99.9% of germs
Remember when you were 17? There’s this girl who is forever boasting of her sex life? Photo: Doris Lim

A Stinky Bomb Shell

Tales from the Jamban is a collection of ten hilarious stories set in a typical Malaysian toilet.

The performance opened with a cleaner mopping the floor, clad in rubber gloves and wearing boots.

Remember the forever “flooded” toilets? Eeowww…

The tales’ disgusting sound effects minus the stench sets the pace for the unconventional wacky advice, toilet antics, and rip-roaring scenarios.

All families have the shared bathroom phenomenon with siblings going in the loo for some brotherly advise too.

If you’re thinking aloud, some Malaysian toilets aren’t what you may be accustomed to.

Tales from the Jamban kills 99.9% of germs
Julie is conflicted when her former school teacher recognizes her in a public toilet. Photo: Doris Lim


The Shophouse Toilets

In George Town inner city, the shophouse toilets were built at the back of the building next to the kitchen.

The WC or squatting pan is in a small “throne room” with a few raised steps.

Next, to that, a bathing room with a cement water tub separated by a half zinc partition. This is when you “scoop” and pour cold water over yourself to take a bath.

Tales from the Jamban kills 99.9% of germs
Why do men spend hours in the Jamban? Photo: Doris Lim

There’s always a Fish!

The freakish part about this is the live fish that the family keeps in the same aquarium water receptacle.

I don’t know how many of you remember the fish. It used to freak me out every time I bath as a child. I would just scream to my mom that I didn’t want to bath in fish urine!

Older female cousin would only bath wearing a sarong. The reason? The older male cousins would have an eye fest watching the reflections dance on the other side of the water if they get a chance.

This is not the norm as the moms and aunts are always in the kitchen having a loud conversation with whoever uses the jamban.

Tales from the Jamban kills 99.9% of germs
What happens when your geeky friend gets a date and you don’t? Photo: Doris Lim

Days of Bucket System

For us seniors, wet toilets are nothing. We have lived through the days of dry toilets. Most of us have experienced the bucket system. Remember the raised throne room?

A bucket toilet is a basic form of a dry toilet. The bucket (pail) is used to collect human excreta.

Night soil is a historically used euphemism for human excreta collected from homes, pit latrines, etc. The workers employed in this trade are called Night Soil Collectors.

I remember the truck with many doors for the buckets that used to go their round in George Town. I was told that the night soil was transported out of town and sold as fertilizer.

Most of us grew up eating fresh, plump, sweet tasting vegetables. I remember that the vegetables can only be harvested after it rained if you know what I mean.

Tales from the Jamban kills 99.9% of germs
Anxiety just makes people clean obsessively. Photo: Doris Lim


Tales from the Jamban kills 99.9% of germs

The ten tales as they occur in the jamban brings Malaysian theatre to the forefront in terms of creativity and setting.

Clothed with humor, Fa brings these taboo subjects out. Tales from the Jamban is staged in the filthiest of all environments where 99.9% of germs are found in the air. Most Malaysian flush the toilet with the seat up, after a dump!

Fa Abdul’s range of storytelling skill unveils the disgusting habits of Malaysians. The 99.9% of germs are not in the jamban per se. It lies in the disparity of sexual equality, toilet politics, and child marriages.

I wish the Tales from the Jamban could kill 99.9% of germs of disparity in Malaysia.

Tales from the Jamban kills 99.9% of germs
To prevent adolescent pregnancies, we must stop child marriages. Photo: Doris Lim
Tales from the Jamban kills 99.9% of germs
Malaysians need to pay it forward by keeping toilets and politics clean. Photo: Doris Lim
Tales from the Jamban kills 99.9% of germs
If I’m a man dressed as a woman and need to use the restroom which restroom should I use? Photo: Doris Lim
Tales from the Jamban kills 99.9% of germs
Gender-neutral toilet facilities can benefit transgender populations and people outside of the gender binary. Photo: Wikipedia.org

Too-da-loo, Too-da-loo

Tales from the Jamban features familiar faces in Penang theatre scene. These actors have taken an affirmative action in bringing to life the real dynamics. Have we revealed too much in public what goes on behind closed toilet doors?

Producer/Director & Playwright
Fa Abdul

Ivan Gabriel, Tan Seoh Chen, Aloyah Bakar, Zee, Kabilan and Philip Yeoh.
Sharmila Kana, Nik Fletcher, Hasrul Andry, Tasnim Hasina, Scarlette L, Roshini Chandran, and Karam Tab.

Event Type: Comedy / Drama
For more details get tickets from PenangPAC