Singapore public toilet left flushed with pride

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The Independent Online

Singapore has awarded its first five-star rating to a public lavatory, at the start of a campaign to rid the city state of unhygienic facilities.

Singapore has awarded its first five-star rating to a public lavatory, at the start of a campaign to rid the city state of unhygienic facilities.

Lim Swee Say, the Environment Minister, launched the "Happy Toilet" campaign, which will rate public lavatories using a system similar to that for hotels.

Clean public conveniences are crucial for the country "to maintain its reputation as a magnet for human talent and a top location for investment", the Restroom Association of Singapore said.

The award-winning lavatory, in a suburban shopping centre, features giant comic book-style murals at its entrance and air jets to dry floors and other surfaces. A poster in the women's section reads "Dirty toilets attract the wrong crowd" and depicts a woman dressed as a giant cockroach and smoking, with strands of toilet paper hanging from her insect-like legs.

Jack Sim, the association's president, said: "In total we spend almost three years of our lives on the toilet. It's natural and it's normal, so let's learn to say: 'Wow! That's a great toilet!'."

Association auditors will assess lavatories for a fee of up to £27 each and give a rating valid for a year.

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