Sunday, August 8, 2010
"Lack of maintenance has resulted in more than half of the 19 automated toilets, each costing RM400,000, in Kuala Lumpur being damaged and one is not operational.
The toilets were launched in 2006 by then Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak who also said that foreigners could tell about a country’s culture and civilisation from the condition of its public lavatories.
The Automatic Street Toilets (AST) are located at strategic points in the city that are mostly frequented by tourists.
Fully automated including the cleaning of the toilet bowls, it only costs RM1 to use the air-conditioned AST which comes in two cubicles per location.
Good maintenance needed: Each AST costs RM400,000 and is fully automated from the RM1 fee collection to the toilet bowl.
Segambut MP Lim Lip Eng and Bukit Bintang MP Fong Kui Lun highlighted the issue and said it was Kuala Lumpur City Hall’s (DBKL) responsibility to maintain these toilets.
“According to the status report of the AST we received from DBKL, four of the toilets are not operational while three have only one operational cubicle. Out of the 19, 12 have been damaged,” Lim said.
According to the report, the problems include leaking air-conditioning, damaged automatic door motors and lack of water supply since June 1.
Lim also claimed that the contract for the AST maintenance was not done via open tender which could have lessened inefficiency.
“We welcome high-tech toilets as a means to attract tourists but since the ASTs are not taken care of properly, it has most likely caused the opposite result,” Lim said.
Lim also highlighted the matter of Najib saying back in 2006 that there would be a total of 23 toilets in place by 2007.
“According to the AST status report there are only 19 toilets and one is being build at Pasarama Kota. What happened to the other three?” he said, adding that somebody has to take responsibility of the matter."