Marina One Building management was forced to apologise following online furore from our good old netizens, who lambasted the shopping mall for threatening to slap construction workers at an unsanitary fine of $107.

Their crime? Using toilets at Level 1 and Level 2 (what I presume are floors with high human traffic).

Got include GST to the fine some more leh. Don’t play play.

Marina One later tried to defend themselves by explaining that it was for practical reasons and had the welfare of shopping mall patrons in mind. If they see construction workers in the toilet, they may (1) think that the toilet needs fixing or (2) kena asthma attack from the construction dust generated when workers enter the toilet.

Then Straits Times ran a story on how it was standard industry practice for shopping malls to put up such signs. But really, what baffled me was how some Singaporeans remarked that the sign could have been worded more politely.

So what they are really saying is – it’s okay to make construction workers to use a different toilet from us – just be nice about it.


Folks, let’s show some compassion and openness to those who leave their families behind and help to build our nation, even the very houses we live in.

It seems that many of us want them to be an invisible part of our population, except when they come to the aid of everyday Singaporeans. When they rescue a toddler who was stuck between clothing rails or when they help an old woman cross the road.

Stories like this, on how a foreign worker squatted on the ground to eat his lunch as he did not want to dirty the bus stop are saddening.

They are not invisible – and they should not be treated like they are.

If it’s really about wet boots and dusty clothes, we should probably start fining Singapore’s kids or our serviceman after a training or football session and making them use separate toilets. We wouldn’t want them to dirty up our toilets now, would we?

After all, would we want to be forced by foreigners to use a different toilet if we work in their country, whether we are in blue-collared or white-collared employment?