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Toilet Cleanliness Campaign 2011 in Papar

EAC: PAPAR DESERVES STATUS AS AWARD-WINNING HERITAGE TOWN

30th July 2011

Papar, Sabah - Head of the Environmental Action Centre's (EAC) Toilet Cleanliness Campaign 2011 and member of the EAC Management Group and Steering Committee, Nilakrisna James, said that Papar deserves to be declared an "award-winning heritage town" by the government.

"We came to Papar to teach the participants about toilet cleanliness but were instead pleasantly surprised to note that this town not only has a well-equipped award-winning 5-star-style public toilet with stereo system, fans, plants and seating area for relaxation but the youth participants also had a heightened sense of awareness of the necessity to keep their town clean and presentable to locals and foreign visitors. They charge 30 cents for using an amazingly well-maintained toilet that looks like a cottage, which is worth it compared to some of the smelliest and most disgusting public washrooms in some shopping centres in Kota Kinabalu, which should not be charging for such filth. This is a reflection of the discipline and intense commitment by the District Officer and employees of Majlis Daerah Papar who have enforced a very strict penalty system against those who deliberately litter, smoke in non-smoking areas and flout high standards of hygiene in eateries and public spaces. This is an exemplary town with beautiful heritage buildings and shoplots. We need to keep Papar's historical beauty and develop more facilities for foreign visitors. It has huge potential for tourism and should be marketed as the premier award-winning heritage town as long as the town remains clean and indiscriminate graffiti removed from public view. They should capitalise on the heritage and river-front views and create this town into a centre of art and beauty so that new buildings should not just be ugly concrete blocks but retain similarities in the architecture of its past," said Nilakrisna at the seminar held at the community centre in Papar on Saturday.

District Officer for Papar, Iman Bin Ali, added that the District Office has developed a grading system for restaurants and toilets and will begin inspection of offices, eateries, schools, government departments and public facilities and toilets. "We will create awards for various categories of cleanliness, beauty and hygiene. We have come a long way. In 2005, we received complaints of filth that embarrassed the people of Papar. By 2010, this town has received various awards for toilet cleanliness, landscaping and litter-free status. We plan to establish handicraft shops next to toilets and close down restaurants which continue to fall below grading expectations. Majority of the eateries here don't even deserve a C grade, so we must work as a team with the people. When the tough wins the top, the top must go on," Iman said before participants from the District Office, Persatuan Belia Wawasan Perumahan Kg. Kuala and Persatuan Belia Kalbut Kg. Sungai Padang.

District Office officials and the EAC also attended the presentation of the first Grade A certificate to a local restaurant in Papar, Restoran Sri Pantai Manis. "We have to come up with standard guidelines which we hope will raise the quality of our local operators to be on par with international chains and franchises," said Iman.

As usual, EAC conducted their seminar, quiz and cleaning demo with youth participants. Also present were William Ahlan, Papar's Assistant District Officer; Abdul Said Ompok, the District Office's Executive Officer; Haji Ag. Husin Perintah, member of the District Council and Chairman of the Health Committee and Irfan Datuk Hj. Shuhaibun, the District Office's Assistant Officer for Health and Environment.

Youth on cleaning demo in male toilet
Guest of Honour, Tn. Haji Iman bin Ali joined the toilet cleanliness demo
Group photo after the toilet cleanliness demo was done
A view after toilet being clean
Ms. Nilakrisna presenting a memento to Guest of Honour, Tn. Haji Iman bin Ali
Group photo after the toilet cleanliness campaign ended