The Straits Times today reported how a mall along Orchard Road has banned construction workers from using their toilets, and has threatened them with a fine and prohibition from working in the premises, if they did so.
The Mall, Wisma Atria, said that the ban was introduced in 2011 following complains from the public about the mess. A spokesperson for the Mall said the restriction was put in place because workers were showering in the toilets or washing their tools in the sinks.
Transient Workers Count 2, a non-government organisation (NGO) which works for the welfare of foreign workers said that the absolute ban was disproportionate. The NGO felt that the Mall should have just advised against behaviour such as changing clothes openly or showering with the hose.
Construction workers are now only allowed to use the toilet in the carpark on the fifth level, behind the cargo lift.
Several member of the public though have pointed out that the outright ban is unfairly discriminative.
26-year-old Hoh Jian Yang who spoke about the ban to the newspaper said, “denying certain classes of people access to public amenities encourages the view that they are, in some way, lesser human beings. That these amenities were almost certainly constructed by workers themselves adds a new layer of perverse irony.”
Meanwhile, several people have taken to Facebook to say that they are unhappy with the Mall’s segregation of construction workers (who are mainly foreign workers from third world countries), and that they will pressure Wisma Atria to reconsider their ban using their wallets.
Singapore based British humour columnist and author, Neil Humphreys, have thrown his weight behind the boycott of the Mall. In his Facebook post Neil said:
“Well, Wisma Atria, as you have BANNED construction workers from using your public toilets and threatened them with FINES and EXPULSION if they disobey, I’ve decided to ban myself.
Not that you probably care as I am not really your target audience (i.e. I don’t look like Prada and Ray Ban have thrown up on me), but I will never set foot in your sterile, soulless mall again.
Yours in disgust,
Neil Humphreys, a fellow foreign worker”Follow us on Social Media
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