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DBKK strict on toilet cleanliness
Published on: Friday, December 02, 2022
By: Sidney Skinner
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DBKK strict on toilet cleanliness
The housekeeping staff at this KK shopping centre mops up the dampness on the floor while the inspector goes through his scoresheet on the cleanliness of the facilities.
A greater emphasis is being placed on the cleanliness of toilets at shopping centres around Kota Kinabalu as City Hall strives to get the management companies (MCs) of these premises to provide shoppers with sanitary facilities which are four stars or better.

The agency has adopted the Federal Ministry of Local Government and Housing’s “Star Rating (SR)” system when assessing the cleanliness of toilets in public places within its rating area.

Premises owners are awarded marks for fulfilling the criteria set out in six separate categories as part of the SR score sheet. 

Under the SR system, a grade of five stars – between 91-100 per cent of the total score – indicates that the toilets are “amat bersih (meticulously clean)”, while zero stars – 50 per cent or below – indicates that these facilities are “kotor (dirty)”. 

The agency’s staff (left) briefing the representatives from the MC for one of the shopping centres on his observations on the toilets at the premises.

A spokeswoman for City Hall’s Environmental Health Department hoped shopping centre MCs would, at least, consistently attain 81-90 per cent of the score. 

“This will allow them to achieve the ‘four stars’ which shows that their toilets are ‘bersih (clean)’,” she said.

“The Ministry previously aimed for toilets nation-wide to achieve a grade of ‘three stars’ but they raised the target to ‘four stars’ this year.”

On top of following the Ministry’s lead, she said City Hall wanted to take a more holistic approach when it came to the maintenance of sanitary facilities at shopping centres.

“As part of our ‘Healthy KK’ initiative we are looking at engaging more sectors of the community on this issue.” 

The spokeswoman said the agency recently audited the toilets at several shopping centres within its rating area, to underscore the serious view which it had taken about maintaining these facilities properly.

“The audit was geared to impressing on the MCs the necessity of ensuring that the toilets at their premises were clean, safe and comfortable for the public to use at all times.” 

The agency’s Public Toilet Management Division inspected 84 separate stalls – including 36 for men, 40 for women and eight for the disabled – as part of the exercise which ended on Wednesday, according to her.

Over a three-week period, she said, a five-man team with the Division went to five shopping centres in the Central Business District of the City and one each in Kepayan, Manggatal and Telipok.

“Three of these premises earned a grade of ‘five stars’ and another three were given a grade of ‘four stars’.

“Two received a grade of ‘three stars’.”

A City Hall staff tells these attendants on how to improve the condition of these toilets.

The spokeswoman said City Hall Health inspectors spoke to the toilet attendants and MCs staff, providing them with pointers on how they could improve the cleanliness of the sanitary facilities at their respective properties.

She said the attendants were encouraged to be more active when it came to maintaining the toilets under their care.

“We called on them to be more diligent in keeping the floor – both inside and outside the stalls dry throughout the day – as well as ensuring that the bowls were properly flushed and not left in a state which would turn off new users.

“Those who were tasked with collecting fees from shoppers were told not to just sit behind the tables outside the toilets collecting payment.”

She said the MCs, on the other hand, were urged to ensure that there were enough attendants to look after all the stalls inside their shopping centres.

“If they have more than five cubicles in any one section, then they would do well to assign at least two staff to look after these toilets.” 

The spokeswoman said notices would be issued to the firms which received the grade of three stars.

“They will be given a grace-period to try and improve the condition of the toilets at their shopping centres.

“A follow-up inspection will be carried out after this. Should we find that our advice has fallen on deaf ears, then further action will be taken.”

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