As an inventor since the early 90’, Robest Yong is well qualified to talk about Malaysian innovations. He has worked in the rubber stamps making industry for decades and helped in revolutionised the traditional way of how rubber stamps were made with his innovative invention – Polyclone Instant Rubber Stamp machine.
“The 100-years way of making rubber stamps with the traditional lettering involves composing and vulcanisation method which takes time to be done. My photo-polymerization technology enables rubber stamps of any shape and design to be produced in less than 5 minutes,” explains Robest.
His invention has won the gold medal at the International Invention Competition in Geneva, Switzerland in 1994 and bagged several awards back home too.
Teng Yu-Mein, a regular housewife who always has a dream of becoming a social entrepreneur is blessed to have such an innovative husband to help her in realising her dream. We at WargaBiz are lucky enough to discover this couple’s company; Efinity Social Enterprise which design, develop and innovate a functional product – a portable water filtration system to help the rural communities, particularly the Orang Asli community who are living off the grid to get access of clean water.
The idea behind Efinity Social Enterprise establishment
“It’s all started with my wife,” he explains. “It was in 2016 when she visited Orang Asli settlement in Negeri Sembilan and saw the unhygienic water they were consuming. The villagers live without electricity nor water supply. However, thanks to the contribution from NGOs, they were able to pipe the water from the rivers and streams to their homes. But, when it rains, the water in the river will be very muddy and full of debris. It was really bad to consume.”
So the idea was to invent something that could help them to have a better water supply. Robest says the idea of using a water filtering system was out of the question because there was not enough water pressure from the tap or electricity to run a pump. It wasn’t easy to find a practical solution to solve the problem.
“It was one day when my wife was ironing the clothes when she realised that she can produce pressure manually like the water spraying bottle. Eureka!” says Robest remembering the story of how his wife got the idea.
As an inventor, Robest help his wife in the technical aspect in designing the prototype.
Everyone has the right to get access of clean water
The team at Efinity Social Enterprise is small but extremely dedicated and hardworking. With only him and his wife leading the organisation, they both know the importance of water as an essential element in life and equally passionate to help the marginalised communities in providing the precious commodity.
“Without electricity to run a pump that enables them to filter the water, the best they can do is to let the debris to settle and take the cleaner top part to filter through a cloth. But, this ‘filtered water’ is far from clean or drinkable!”
Efinity EZ Water Filter Cap
Efinity Social Enterprise proudest invention is the Efinity EZ Water Filter Cap that enables consumers to filter their water through a proper ceramic or even UF membrane elements without the need of having electricity source.
This principle of this innovation is from simple basic science of creating pressure and forcing the dirty water through the filtering element using a normal air pump. Robest called the innovation as simple, cheap and practical – but it gets the job done.
“Many inventors tried solving problems using complicated and high technology to solve a simple problem. But for me, the simplest solution is always the best”
The multiple award-winning social innovation is been widely used in Orang Asli settlements in Malaysia including Sabah & Sarawak, refugee camps, disaster area, war zone, 3rd world countries such as Cambodia, Nepal, Myanmar, Bhutan, Indonesia and India to name a few.
As a social enterprise organisation, it requires them to operate on a shoe-string budget to be self-sustainable. Lucky for them, they have won many awards which some came with prize money. “We used the money to pay for the cost to produce the product,” adding the innovation won several prestigious awards such as MaGRIS Grassroot Innovation Award, Swiss Innovation Challenge and Star Golden Heart Awards along with other notable awards.
In future, Robest wants to see NGO look into their innovation and use them in their quest of helping the rural communities. He highly hopes that the Malaysian government will encourage their agencies such as JAKOA (Jabatan Kemajuan Orang Asli) who have been entrusted the job of helping the Orang Asli to do what is practical and sustainable.
“We hope that our Natural Disaster Agency (NADMA) will use them in helping the disaster victims such in floods. We also hope that international foundations such as UNICEF, UN, Red Cross and Bill Gates will use them – we hope,” he ends.
Malaysia Technology Expo (MTE) is back this year! Started off as a platform for inventors and innovators to showcase their findings, MTE has grown to become one of the region’s most recognised and respected international invention exhibitions. For this year, 19th edition, MTE 2020 welcome over 500 exhibits – from universities, research institutes, technical and vocational schools, secondary schools, private organisations and individual inventors from around the world to showcase their inventions. Join the biggest technology expo (MTE 2020) this 20-22 February at World Trade Centre, Kuala Lumpur to see all the inventions, ideas, prototypes, products and designs.