Provide clean toilets or face penalties
As a part of preparations for the Visit Malaysia year in 2014, Datuk Seri Chor Chee Heung, the Honorable Housing and Local Government Minister, plans to introduce a series of measures to ensure cleaner toilets at public premises.
The first step in that direction will be the implementation of National Clean Toilet Action Strategic Plan early next year. As per this plan, penalties are likely to be imposed on public premises which do not maintain clean toilets.
In his speech on the occasion of World Toilet day 2012, the minister mentioned, “Under the Plan, we will be reviewing contracts signed between the cleaning operators and the local enforcement authorities to put in stricter conditions and key performance indicators.
"We are also considering fines for dirty toilets, and if a restaurant is found to have toilets which are not usable and endanger patrons we may order them to shut down temporarily,"
The ultimate aim, according to the minister, is to achieve absolutely clean and hygienic toilets in public premises by 2020. His department which is at present studying the Uniform Building Bylaws 1984 will make necessary amendments to the aforementioned act, if required “to take strict action against premise proprietors or toilet operators who neglect hygiene. This may include a fine as well, but we have not yet decided how much the fine would be.”
Dr Aizi Razman, Deputy Director General (development) with the Local Government Department later told the media persons that a three pronged approach would be taken to ensure cleaner toilets:
- Management: Key performance indicators (KPIs) will be set up and the local authorities will enter into contracts with toilet operators whereby they will be penalized if they do not measure up to the KPIs. Though it has been confirmed that monetary penalties will be imposed, the exact amount has not yet been specified.
- Creating user awareness: The public will be educated to use the toilets properly through awareness programs and campaigns, so that they leave behind cleaner toilets.
- Toilet design: Last but not the least, the regulatory authorities will ensure that toilets in public premises take care of the needs of the locals at the time of designing them.