By: Aida Aziz
IPOH: Public toilets in restaurants and eateries in this city that fail to achieve a four-star rating will face license non-renewal starting from January next year.
This demand was voiced by the Mayor of Ipoh, Datuk Rumaizi Baharin, who wants the traders under his administration to be more responsible and serious in maintaining the cleanliness of public toilets.
He further stated that this aligns with the expectations of the Ministry of Housing and Local Government (KPKT) in ensuring that public toilets meet the Clean, Charming, and Fragrant (BMW) standards.
“We constantly inspect public toilets within the MBI area, and we give them until the end of this year (to improve).
“If they (traders) cannot upgrade to four stars, there is a possibility that we will not renew their business licenses for the following year,” he said.
He made these remarks during a media briefing after chairing the Full Council Meeting for June at the MBI Meeting Hall on Tuesday.
However, according to Rumaizi, such strict measures will only be taken if the owners of the restaurants or eateries show an indifferent attitude after receiving warnings.
“The usual excuse they give when asked about dirty toilets is that they have a high volume of visitors and no time to clean.
“Before MBI takes the action of not renewing their licenses, we will issue warnings first and give them a chance. If they remain stubborn and so on, then we will cancel their licenses,” he added.
Earlier, during the meeting, one of the MBI Council Members raised the issue of poorly maintained public toilets in several locations in the city.
In addition, he mentioned that there are 2,847 restaurant and cafe premises within the MBI area, and all of them have achieved a three-star rating or above for toilet cleanliness.
“The Food Safety and Quality Unit of the MBI Environmental Health Department continues to enhance inspection and monitoring activities to ensure that public toilets in food premises meet the BMW standard,” he said.
As of June 26 this year, 592 out of 897 toilet facilities in restaurant and eatery premises have been assessed and achieved a four-star rating or above.
A total of 288 compound fines worth RM67,500 have been issued under Section 4(1) of the Food Operators (Small Trading Premises Act 1981) for various offences, including the cleanliness of public toilets.
“What is happening in Ipoh is quite surprising. Previously, Ipoh was quiet. But when we started promoting tourism activities, people started coming in large numbers.
“So they are not accustomed to it. For example, if we look at tourist towns like Cameron Highlands, it was the same in the beginning. That’s why we give the traders here time to adapt to these changes,” he explained.