Residents in 280 flat units say goodbye to squat toilets

Patahiyah (right) and Jagdeep (batik shirt) looking at the toilet upgrading plan for blocks L, M and N at Taman Free School in Penang.

FOLLOWING the installation of new lifts with closed-circuit television cameras and water pumps at three Taman Free School flat blocks, now, the toilets in these blocks will also be upgraded.

Penang Island City Council (MBPP) mayor Datuk Patahiyah Ismail said the squat toilets in the three blocks’ 280 units would be replaced with sit-down toilets.

“The RM1.45mil upgrading project started on Feb 13 and is expected to be completed in November.

“The bathrooms will also be upgraded with tiles for the bathroom flooring and walls,” she said when announcing the upgrading works at the Taman Free School residents’ association hall in George Town, on Saturday.

Patahiyah said the three blocks would also undergo a makeover as MBPP had approved RM535,000 for a repainting project which was expected to commence in the middle of the year.

Koay showing the toilet bowl as well as floor and wall tiles that were newly installed at his bathroom.
Koay showing the toilet bowl as well as floor and wall tiles that were newly installed at his bathroom.

Retiree Koay Ken Hock, 93, was delighted with the new installation as the aged had found it difficult to use the squat toilet.

“My wife and I have knee problems, and it is difficult to use the squat toilet. But now we don’t need to worry anymore thanks to the recent upgrade,” he said at his one-room flat unit.

Patahiyah added that MBPP was also planning to carry out rewiring work at the three blocks besides upgrading the units on the lower floor to be disabled-friendly.

“These upgrades are done in line with MBPP’s wish to provide facilities that are in tandem with its city council status.

“We are also looking into upgrading the wet market into a market complex with parking facilities,” she said.

Datuk Keramat assemblyman Jagdeep Singh Deo, who was also present, said apart from providing adequate affordable housing, the state was also concerned about its maintenance.

“From 2010 to 2016, the Penang Housing Committee had spent RM27.8mil for the maintenance of 15,431 units in 49 public housing projects.”

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