Masalah lama yang masih tiada penghujungnya
Kita bangga negara Islam kini mempunyai bangunan tertinggi di dunia. Kita juga bakal bangga dengan menara jam tertinggi didunia besebelahan Masjidil Haram. Kita kagum melihat KLCC tesergam indah di tengah Kuala Lumpur. Bangunan serba moden dan canggih terbina disebuah negara yang belum mencapai tahap negara maju. Siapa yang pernah ke Dubai akan menceritakan betapa selesanya sistem pengangkutan di sana. Mereka pasti tak henti-henti memuji betapa cantiknya Burj Dubai dan The Palm.
Tidak dapat dinafikan sejak 20 tahun kebelakangan ini, banyak bagunan mega canggih dan hebat senibinanya dibina di atas bumi negara orang-orang Islam. Ibu saya pun kagum melihat perubahan Kota Makkah sejak kali terakhir kesana menunanikan hajil awal 90an yang lalu. Jika dulu beliau terpaksa berpanas ketika bersolat di Masjidil Haram, kini sudah ada sistem kipas yang berputar secara automatik bila cuaca mencecah suhu tertentu. Bak kata ibu saya;
"Sekarang pergi haji lebih selesa dan senang dari dulu.Boleh concentrate nak beribadat sahaja. Tak perlu risau lagi dah"
Despite of these modern architectural wonders in the Muslim world, one thing haven't changed. At least in Malaysia the problem have yet to be solved.
Have you noticed that despite the awesome advancement in the world architecture, we have yet to solve the problem of suraus smelling like feet. We now have concrete mix that is lighter yet with higher tensile strength than the ones used 10 years ago. We now have mobiles with more processing power than a PC but those damp carpets inside the prayer rooms are still as wet as it was back i1998n ! We now have malls with butler services , luxury boutiques, personal shopper services and the best gizmos imported from Cupertino but the suraus in these PRESTIGIOUS LUXURY MALLS are still hidden away next to the motherfucking toilet.
Now let's talk about the first problem in this entry. The other problems regarding suraus will be discussed in the days to come. I want to keep it short so none of you fuckers will complain that it is TL:DR
QUESTION ONE : Why can't we solve the problem of suraus smelling like feet and the persistent dampness?
It was there when I was ten years old at Plaza Peladang Kedah and it's still here when I went to the surau at ONE UTAMA a few days back. In contrast the toilet next to the surau changed drastically since OU was opened more than 15 years ago. The porcelain tiles were replaced with marbles ones. I must say the toilets in most new shopping malls look better than the ones in 3 Star Hotels.The stalls are now roomier and a Bangladeshi chap is stationed there all the time to make sure the floor is always dry. This is a far cry from the dank, waterlogged and smelly toilet that is was just 5 years ago. Best of all I no longer have to pay for the "pleasure" of using the horrible toilet.
ON A SIDE NOTE
Kenapa tandas berbayar keadaannya lebih MOTHERFUCKING SHIT dari tandas free? Bukankah tandas berbayar seharusnya lebih terjaga? Have you guys tried using the toilet inside Hentian Puduraya before? A few years ago before it was closed for renovation, I had an awesome urge to take a shit there (I was picking up my sister). Went to the toilet, paid the 20 cents entrance fee and went to look for an empty stall. First one was clogged with solid shit encrusted inside the toilet bowl like dried Milo. The second one does not have a functioning flush. A brown floating turd bobbed on the surface of rancid yellow piss. The third one is just a little bit cleaner than the toilet from Trainspotting
I really need to take a shit but I lost the nafsu to berak then and there. Ran out while at the same time squeezing my sphincter all the way to the Nandos next to Puduraya. Went into the loo and I let it rip. It was still the best shit I ever had. It went out in one awesome explosion that would make the dudes on Jackass happy. You'll never know how awesome an invention a sitting toilet connected to a sewage system is until you are denied one at a very crucial shitting moment.
The surau in OU in contrast barely changed. They changed the carpeting, repaint it and the ablution area was retiled. But despite of this NOT MUCH have changed architecturally. One walks into the surau, buka kasut, walked on the sticky plastic mesh (with slime mold on them) and then proceed to the prayer hall.
Does anyone else find the smell disturbing. I mean Islam is a religion that puts a lot of premium on cleanliness. I don't think "cleanliness" is the thing that pops into your head when you visit the suraus in the shopping mall. If you are not a Muslim and you accidentally walked into a surau you might have the impression that Muslims love praying in molding and stinking prayer rooms.
SO HOW DO WE SOLVE THIS PROBLEM?
The main reason why the surau's are so smelly is due to the lack of air circulation. Suraus in Malaysia are always designed as an afterthought. I can't blame the architect though because MOST SHOPPING MALLS are not owned or designed by Muslims. Usually they just choose an empty room tucked away in a corner somewhere and convert that into a surau. 90% of the time these surau have no windows. So what happened when you have wet feet and zero air circulation going on for years? You will have that unmistakable smell of fermented feet juice.
The only two places I know where the inclusion of a surau was not an afterthought is KLCC and Alamanda Putrajaya. In these two KLCCB owned malls, the surau's design was carefully thought after. The suraus there are not rooms converted haphazardly at the very last minute. To the people who designed these 2 suraus I must say thank you for making them one of the most comfortable surau in Malaysia. I just dunno why no other malls that was designed after KLCC and Alamanda was finished didn't just copy paste the design.
Personally speaking I think we could reduce the problem of smelly feet by doing away with the closed designed of the surau.Firstly I suggest all future surau do away with the solid brick walls. Instead make it an open design. Tear down the walls and replace it with wooden lattice. This will automatically increase the air circulation.
Secondly install one of the floor air blower at the ablution area. Better yet maybe design a "feet dryer" where warm air is pumped on the feet of the people coming out of the ablution area into the prayer hall. The carpet will still get a wee bit wet but it wont be as drenched as it is now.
Thirdly it is all down to you and me. Maybe next time when you are taking wudu' make sure shake off as many access water dripping off from your body. I've seen pakciks drenching himself while taking wudu' and they walk straight into the prayer hall.
Sure I heard the story before. Most muslims wont dry off the water from taking the wudu' because apparently "dosa kecil terhapus keluar dengan setiap titik air wudu yang menitis". I dunno how legit this story is but I remember hearing it as a kid.
After the pakcik finished praying, I saw a human shaped puddle on the carpet! There are not many Muslims who own shopping malls. The non Muslim owners will never feel obliged to make the prayer rooms for Muslims more comfortable. I am willing to bet that most of them never even saw the inside of the suraus in their own building. I also reckon they don't even know the current design lead to accumulation of mold and odour.
When we cannot force building owners to design or modified the current surau to be less smelly. maybe we must then modify ourselves. Dry off your feet as much as humanly possible before walking into the prayer hall.
Kalau itu also tak boleh buat maybe its about time we stop using carpets inside surau. Just put lantai jubin like the ones we put inside kitchens.
What do you guys think? What can be done to improve the design of the suraus inside the shopping malls. Thanks for reading
p/s : I helped build missiles. I helped protect this country. You should be rewarded for that. But instead they give it to the plastic surgeons, you know they lied to me.