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September 16

Is awareness of clean public toilets on the rise in Malaysia?


KUALA LUMPUR: During the recent school holidays, shopping complexes and hypermarkets in the city were deluged with shoppers.

According to this writer, the cleanliness of lavatories in public places during such holidays was ‘compromised’ due to an overwhelming number of visitors to hypermarkets and shopping complexes.

However, this writer, who went to several shopping complexes located in the city and Petaling Jaya, had a pleasant surprise upon discovering that there was a certain degree of improvement among the visitors concerning the cleanliness of public toilets.

Public toilets at a shopping complex at Jalan Syed Putra (near Bangsar) as well as those at other shopping complexes at Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman and Bandar Sunway near here were found to be ‘adequately’ clean despite their frequent usage.

It appeared that the management of these shopping complexes had stationed and deployed workers as well as ‘cleaners’ to ensure that the toilets were always clean.

Clean Toilets

Has the awareness of clean public toilets increased among the general public in Malaysia?

A number of visitors to these public premises gave the thumbs up when asked to comment on the move by the complexes to station cleaners at public toilets to oversee their cleanliness.

“The public toilets are clean, as clean as in five-star hotels and those located at the R & R stops along the North-South Highway,” said a visitor, who wished to be known as Chua.

“The public should also be commended for practising clean habits and adopting good ethics while using toilet cubicles,” he said.

A cleaner at a shopping complex here, Sahul Hameed, said he has not come across users who deliberately do not flush the toilet after use.

“There are also no signs of those who squat on toilet seats. This habit not only leaves dirty marks on toilet seats but also damages them,” he added.

Clean Public Toilet Campaign

“I found the public lavatories at shopping complexes here extremely clean,” exclaimed Ahmad Bakhtiar, a businessman and tourist from Medan, Indonesia.

Malaysia had officially launched the Clean Toilet Campaign in 1997.

According to the World Toilet Organisation (WTO), a person visits the toilet around 2,500 times a year or six to eight times a day, on an average.

The organisation stated that cleanliness of toilets is a pressing issue worldwide, where half of the globe’s population does not have access to proper sanitation or toilets which are properly designed.

The organisation added that the way people use public toilets in a country is a reflection of that society. The WTO also stated that Japan is a role model when it comes to the cleanliness of public toilets.

“They (people of Japan) have shown how they keep their toilets clean since years ago,” it said in a statement.

For people of the Land of the Rising Sun, no matter how developed a country is and how sophisticated the particular nation’s buildings are, if cleanliness of public toilets is compromised, the country is considered to be ‘undeveloped.’ — Bernama