PORT DICKSON, Nov 22 – The federal government will take over the cleaning of public toilets at local authorities (PBT) from 2016 to ensure their cleanliness at all times. Urban Wellbeing, Housing and Local Government Minister Datuk Abdul Rahman Dahlan said this was in line with the Solid Waste and Public Cleansing Management Act 2007 (Act 672) and PBT Transformation Action Plan being developed by the ministry.
“We will discuss with the state authorities and PBT that are ready to adopt the Act, on the implementation of the new measures which are expected to take effect in 2016,” he said in a statement distributed to the media at the launching of the 2014 national level World Toilet Day here, today. He said states which had not adopted Act 672 were urged to allocate a budget for the maintenance and repair of public toilets in their respective areas.
He said the ministry would also conduct a review of the terms of reference of projects to show determination in tackling the issue of cleanliness of public toilets. “The guideline and standard operating procedure of cleaning public toilets will be reviewed and updated from time to time,” he said. Meanwhile, when speaking at the ceremony, he said at least RM5 million was allocated by the ministry each year to upgrade or build new toilets at the PBT nationwide.
His speech text was read by the ministry’s secretary-general Datuk Seri Arpah Abdul Razak. Abdul Rahman said RM26.5 million was allocated to PBT this year to repair and upgrade toilets nationwide via the programme “My Beautiful Malaysia”. “But overall, our toilets are still dirty, nauseating and many are unsafe to use. Leaking sinks, broken toilet bowls and faulty toilet doors are among the nightmares of toilets in the country.
“Vandalism of public toilets is so widespread with toilets being deliberately dirtied, equipment stolen, walls smeared and doors broken. This not only tarnished the nation’s image and good name among foreign tourists but is also not good for our own health and comfort,” he said. As such, he said it was hoped that the implementation of the new rules could help in providing public toilets of quality. During the ceremony, the winners of 12 categories of the 1Malaysia Clean Toilet Award each received their prizes.