Puan Khalilah Talha is the General Manager Corporate Communications at PLUS Expressways Berhad. She had responded to my complaints regarding the facilities along the North South Expressway, especially the dangerous ramps at the Ayer Keroh RSA last year.
The email below is regarding the toilet with the wheelchair logo above the door that I could not use at Ulu Bernam RSA last week.
Dear Puan Khalilah,
I would like to point you to the “accessible” toilet at Ulu Bernam RSA Southbound. I was truly shocked to discover that I could not close the door after I got in. It opened inwards and there was little space for me to maneuver. That being the only toilet provided for disabled people at the RSA, I had no choice but to empty my bladder into my diaper. It is ridiculous to indicate that the toilet is for disabled people when it is not usable by a wheelchair user. I hope this matter is rectified soonest possible.
On another note, I am truly disappointed to note that my previous complaints 1 year ago regarding accessible parking were not looked into. The parking spaces at the RSAs and lay-bys that I stopped at do not comply with the code of practice. Most of them are too narrow. Worse still, most of these spaces were occupied by vehicles with non-disabled passengers or drivers. This defeats the purpose of allocating such space when disabled people do not have the opportunity to use them at all.
I use the NSE frequently. As a disabled person, I am not even asking for privileges and discount on tolls. I pay the same fare as other non-disabled drivers. All I am asking for is that PLUS provide facilities that are functional, safe and convenient for disabled drivers and passengers alike. That is the least PLUS can do to ensure equality to disabled people using the NSE.
I would like to advise PLUS to conduct a thorough access audit on all the RSAs and lay-bys to ensure that the facilities comply with the code of practice. Putting the wheelchair logo on the toilet door or painting the same logo on the parking space do not make them usable by disabled people. I am sure you are aware of the Malaysian Standard MS 1183, MS 1184 and MS 1331. I discovered from a cursory audit last week that many of the facilities do not comply with the requirements.
With the Akta Orang Kurang Upaya in force now and Malaysia being a signatory to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities that will soon be ratified, it is time for PLUS to seriously work towards ensuring that all public facilities along the expressways are fully accessible, not only to disabled people, but to everyone that uses them.
Your attention in this matter is most appreciated.
PLUS Expressways Berhad (PLUS) is not serious in including accessible facilities at the rest and service area (RSA) and lay-bys along the North South Expressway (NSE). This is evident from my previous complaints regarding the facilities at Tapah RSA that went unrectified till now.
Likewise, the purportedly parking for disabled persons at all the RSAs and lay-bys have not been redone to comply with Malaysian Standard MS 1184. Disabled persons have no place to park and get out from vehicles conveniently. Moreover, the those parking spaces are usually occupied by vehicles without disabled persons.
Toilet for disabled persons with the door opening inwards at Ulu Bernam RSA Southbound.
To add insult to injury, on my trip back from Ipoh last weekend, I discovered that the accessible toilet at the Ulu Bernam RSA Southbound was as good as useless. The door opened inwards. When I got in, I could not close the door due to the limited space inside for me to maneuver. I got Wuan to move the sanitary napkin disposal bin out. That did not help either. In the end, I emptied my bladder into the diaper I was wearing instead.
Before PLUS officials attend another conference on accessibility for disabled persons and proclaim to all and sundry that they provide such facilities at the RSAs and lay-bys, they should do an audit to ensure that these facilities are really functional and comply with the code of practice.
Putting a wheelchair logo on the toilet door or painting the logo on the parking space does not make them usable by disabled people. These facilities must comply with the Malaysian Standard MS 1184: Code of Practice for Access for Disabled Persons to Buildings. The document clearly spells out the proper dimension and requirements to make facilities usable by disabled people.
Some men do not deserve to have a penis. Let me tell you why. Firstly, they hide inside accessible toilets to smoke, selfishly polluting it with the stench of cigarette fumes. Secondly, they simply do not bother to lift the toilet seat when peeing. Thirdly, they do not know how to aim properly. Hello! You are not dousing a fire. There is no need to swing it from left to right and up and down. Just shoot straight into the toilet bowl lar!
Inside one of the accessible toilets at Ikano Power Centre.
This photo was taken inside one of the accessible toilets at Ikano Power Centre. This must be the work of a man who did not know how to hold his penis to direct the stream of urine into the toilet bowl. There was urine all over the toilet seat and on the floor too. The room reeked of cigarette fumes. Imagine my consternation when I got into the toilet and was greeted by the unsettling sight and smell. Fortunately I did not need to sit on the toilet bowl. Unfortunately, I usually spend a little more time in the toilet as compared to other people and had to bear with the stench the entire duration I was inside.
Ikano Power Centre is one of the most accessible buildings. In fact it is a paradise for wheelchair users. There are ample accessible parking spaces. The entire building is almost 100% accessible except for the rather steep ramp connecting to Ikea at the ground floor and the pet shop at Level 2. Moreover, just across the road is The Curve where food outlets are aplenty.
There are so many reasons why I like to hang out there, only to be spoilt by idiots who mess up the accessible toilets. These are the handful of people who make other Malaysians look bad. When I was in Tokyo, all the public toilets that I used at train stations, shopping complexes and at the airport were spotlessly clean and, mostly importantly, dry. Malaysians should learn to be more civic conscious and discard that third world mentality. We should keep toilets clean for the next person just like we would like the person before us do the same.