Be it big or small, we face struggles every day in our Malaysian lives. Take for example this durian season – how can you tell if you’re being conned by the durian seller? D-24 or B-52, how to know?? Or what about walking alone at night – how can you protect yourself from snatch thieves?
Well, with every struggle comes inventive minds that’ll try to come up with a solution… kinda like making lemonade when life gives you lemons. Before we take a look at other Malaysian problems and their ingenious solutions, let’s take a look at how General Electric (GE) does it with when life gives *them* lemons… or in this case sotongs:
Yep, GE knows quite a few things about solving Malaysian problems because they’ve been helping us solve them for the past 40 years, like supplying engines and support for Air Asia planes so that everyone can fly (Fun fact: GE invented the first modern jet engine). But hey, let us know how familiar ugaiz are with GE in the poll below, because…
GE is rewarding 6 imaginative Malaysians for their genius-ness!
What if we told you that about 150 years ago, telling people about getting an instant light at night without the sun or fire would get you thrown into a mental hospital? However, one man stubbed his toe so many times while going to the toilet at night (citation needed) that he actually went and MADE light! We’re of course talking about Thomas Edison, the guy who invented the stable lightbulb. He also went on to form General Electric (GE), a company that’s been imagining ways to make our lives just that much easier.
So now GE wants to know how we can solve some of our everyday Malaysian problems like dirty toilets and the haze in the most imaginative way possible – and hooooo boy did ugaiz not disappoint! After combing through some of the most outlandish (but macam can) ideas that ugaiz sent in, here are the ones that won their inventors a Google Chromecast, starting with…….a disclaimer!
(Disclaimer: Some of these ideas might be a bit far-fetched because it might be impossible to build or put you in jail, but we’re selecting them based on how creative they are. Don’t try these at home.)
1. The Rom-pack™ – by Thomas
Problem: A lot of snatch thefts happening in the country.
One of the more common crimes we keep hearing about nowadays are snatch thefts, where baddies on bikes will pull your bag off you as you’re walking along the street. These crimes are usually hard to stop, because you might be injured from the fall or (unless you’re Usain Bolt) can’t run faster than a motorbike.
So Thomas (not Edison) came up with the idea of having the bag catch the bad guy instead – which we imagine is kinda like catching Pokemon:
“The trigger is in the strap of the bag. The strap is connected to the bag by a easy release connection.
Once the strap is pulled off or cut, there’s a 3-second countdown that will transform the bag into a shoulder to toe straitjacket via compressed air powered mechanism that wraps around the criminal in fraction of a second.
And the body of the jacket is steel-mesh fabric so don’t have to worry it would be torn by the criminal :D” – Thomas
And the best part is that the bag works if you’re in a direct confrontation too! All you need to do is to break the strap yourself and throw it at the bad guy! Strait to the point!
2. Bajulaju™ – Kok Siong Lee
Problem: Going out while your baju is jemur-ing in the sun… and it starts raining. OMG.
With the possible exception of people who live in apartments and those #privileged enough to own a dryer, most Malaysians would have gone through the experience of leaving their clothes drying in the sun to go shopping, only to hear a crack of thunder the moment the car’s parked. It’s nature literally throwing cold water on your day!
But Kok Siong isn’t gonna let precipitation ruin his day, nuh-uh! Inspired by those windshield sensors that automatically turn on your car wipers when it rains, he came up with Bajulaju so that you and your dry clothes can laugh at nature in the face:
“Bajulaju is a motorized clothesline that retracts the clothes into a covered area when rain is detected via a refractive optical sensor which is placed in an open area. The sensor will trigger an electric pulley system which’ll pull the clothes to safety :-D” – Kok Siong
Now, if only it’ll collect and fold our clothes for us too….
3. The U-Turn Signal Light™ – by Khairul Fitri
Problem: People don’t know if you want to turn or make a U-turn
Sometimes the simplest ideas are the best ones. We included this item because it’s something most of us have thought about at some point in time while driving because, if you’ve ever wondered if the car in front of you at the junction is planning to turn or make a u-turn, you’d know that Khairul Fitri’s U-Turn Signal Light is something that’ll make our driving lives soooooo much easier.
“If you want to make a U- turn at a junction or any place, just flip the U-Turn Signal Light switch so the other road user won’t have to guess. Less stress for everybody! It’s also useful for lorries and trucks that need to make wider turns!” – Khairul
Why no one has ever put these things in cars (like a third brake light), we never know… But if you’d rather not deal with the stress of Malaysian driving, there’s always public transportation because – Fun Fact – GE provided and maintains 20 of the trains used by KTM 😀
4. Swazey™ – by Foo Yung Ken
Problem: The HAZE *coughs*
Okay first thing’s first… this has nothing to do with the guy from dirty dancing because it’s pronounced Swah-zee and not Sway-zee.
Foo Yung Ken’s description of his idea had us sweating in anticipation~
“Is there always too much haze? Is Malaysia too hot for you, causing you to sweat too much and the air too difficult to breathe due to the haze? I have the perfect solution for you!” – Foo Yung Ken
Swazey is a dual function addition to your clothes that will use your sweat to get rid of the haze around you – therefore keeping your skin dry and your nose clean at the same time!
“Swazey’s mainframe is basically an article of clothing that absorbs your sweat through fabric connected to tubes that separate the pure water from the salts through a simple chemical reaction.
It then would release water vapour into your surroundings above your head through a small sprayer tube located wherever you’d like to place it (on top of a cap for example). The water vapour in turn cools the surrounding air, also getting rid of the haze in a small vicinity.
It’s all self automated (no energy source required) so the only maintenance you need is to refill the chemical required and cleaning out the ‘salt tank’ where all the salt is left as a deposit.”
We suppose the only drawback to the Swazey is that it might work too well because you might be too cool to sweat . On the bright side, you don’t need to buy salt for cooking anymore!
5. Rumah Benih™ – by UJ
Problem: Houses are getting too expensive!
You may have heard of the common misconception by orang puteh that Malaysians live on trees. Well, UJ’s idea may actually make that a reality! Rumah Benih is the answer to Malaysia’s rising property prices, by genetically engineering trees to literally grow into a house!
“Genetically engineered plants are able to twist and turn it’s structure according to the programmed sequence in the DNA, so you basically can shape your house as you want before planting it – Tree trunks and branches as walls and leaves as roof. With all year round sunshine and rainfall, you’ll just need to plant a seed and wait for it to grow!
It also helps contribute to the environment by reducing the carbon footprint instead of cutting down trees to build houses!”
This would make pretty good sense, because you won’t really need to buy a large plot of land – just enough to make sure the tree can grow. And speaking of carbon footprints, the RumahBenih neighborhood should use General Electric’s LED lights, which use less… er.. Electric-city?
So even if money doesn’t grow on trees, at least your house will! Just…. watch out for termites
6. ShockSendiri™ – by Syamil
Problem: Malaysians using their phones while driving
We all know that it’s illegal to use a phone while driving, not to mention pretty dangerous since it causes most of us to drive like a drunken cockeyed monkey. With the recent arrival of Pokemon Go, we can only expect things to get worse as drivers start veering around to catch that elusive Psyduck.
To help you resist the temptation of reaching out for your phone while you’re behind the wheel, Syamil came with with the ShockSendiri, a phone attachment that gives you a big ol’ zap every time you use it when the car is moving:
“ShockSendiri auto activates when you start your car and won’t shut down until you turn off your car engine. Every time a call or message comes in, it replies with “I’m driving”.
But if you try to use the phone……. ZAP! Kena mild shock! Not enough to take off concentration from driving, but strong enough to make you think twice about picking up that phone again.”
This might actually prove to be an effective method thanks to something called Conditioning, which has nothing to do with making your hair more luxurious. It’s actually how we learn to avoid or do something more based on whether we get rewarded or punished for it. So the question now is whether the punishment of getting zapped is worth the reward of catching a Psyduck on the Federal Highway… #Priorities
You never know if these ideas can lead to the next great Malaysian invention!
We’re willing to bet that when Thomas Edison (who founded GE in 1892) first started work on this crazy idea to make light from some metal and glass, he’d never thought that the company he founded would even reach the ‘jungles of Malaysia’, supplying energy-efficient lighting for Mid Valley Mall, and the engines of AirAsia planes.
The funny thing is that, as the story goes, Edison’s teacher considered him to be “too stupid to learn anything” so really, it just goes to show that all you need is a good imagination and really, really strong determination.
“To invent, you need a good imagination and a pile of junk.” – Thomas Edison
And of course, the ever popular quote…
“I have not failed 10,000 times. I have not failed once. I have succeeded in proving that those 10,000 ways will not work.” – Thomas Edison.
So while we might think that some of these invention ideas in this article are downright crazy, you’ll never know if you’d be seeing them hitting the stores in the near future.