PETALING JAYA: Restaurant and coffeeshop operators are chipping in to keep the toilets clean.
Malaysia Singapore Coffee Shop Proprietors’ General Association president Wong Teu Hoon said they support the government’s initiative to upgrade public toilets.
He, however, has requested for a grace period to do so.
The association members operate more than 20,000 coffeeshops nationwide, 40% of which are in tourist magnets like Melaka, Perak, Sabah and Sarawak.
“The toilets of many traditional coffeeshops may be located outside the building,” said Wong.
“If the landlords are not willing to spend money on renovations, the operators must fork out from their own pockets and the cost is not cheap.
“We are encouraging our members to keep their toilets clean because toilets with good hygiene will also help the business grow.”
Malaysian Indian Restaurant Owners Association vice-president C. Krishnan said at least 60% of mamak restaurants had upgraded the sanitation level of their toilets.
He said they were still waiting for the “clean toilet” guidelines from the Local Government Development Ministry.
“Generally, there should be a 50-50 effort between the government and the operators.
“Instead of closing down premises with dirty restrooms, the government should assist and guide business owners on improving the hygienic level,” he said.
Malaysian Inbound Tourism Association president Uzaidi Udanis said toilets were one of the public facilities used by all segments of society, including foreign tourists.
“You can see that the public toilets in Thailand and Singapore are clean, but wet feet in Malaysia are almost unavoidable because most of the toilets in Malaysia have a bidet.
“Dirty public toilet will tarnish the nation’s image,” he said.
Meanwhile, Malaysian Petroleum Dealers Association president Datuk Khairul Annuar Abdul Aziz posed this question: Are toilets at petrol stations considered public?
“Petrol stations are facing manpower shortage. The operators do not charge customers for using the restrooms,” he said.
“Anyway, we are waiting for the ministry’s guidelines, and until then, we are unsure of what we can do to improve toilet hygiene.”