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The New Paper
Jan 16, 2023
In an effort to dissuade diners from the next-door hawker centre from using its ground floor toilet, Heartland Mall in Kovan recently moved to charge patrons $0.20 for entry.
Toilets on the mall’s other floors, though, do not require an entry fee.
The mall, situated next to Kovan 209 Market and Food Centre, also explains via a sign plastered on the walls outside the toilet: "We seek your kind understanding and co-operation as this is necessary to minimise overcrowding and defray rising maintenance cost."
Shin Min Daily News spoke to an employee at the mall who said that diners and store vendors from the hawker centre often use the restrooms at the mall, especially the one on the ground level.
It is understood the food centre charges $0.10 for its own restrooms, so many patrons choose to use the one in the mall instead. As a result, the toilet area would see crowds during peak hours.
The crowds have thinned since the mall implemented the fee around four months back, but this has, in turn, led to crowding at the toilets on the higher floors, some merchants told Shin Min.
A queue inside the toilet at level 2 of the mall. Photo: Shin Min Daily News
It seems another way to prevent overcrowding of toilets at shopping malls or restaurants is to install smart locks on toilet doors – a move that a McDonalds outlet in Kuala Lumpur has since adopted.
Mimicking the methods used by many cafes in Europe, the McDonalds in KL prints the passcode to the locks on its receipts, ensuring that customers are the only ones who use the facilities.