Fri, Nov 26, 2004 - Page 2 News List

Justice ministry's bathroom overhaul is down the drain

By Jimmy Chuang  /  STAFF REPORTER

Minister of Justice Chen Ding-nan (陳定南) decided yesterday to suspend the idea of renovating the ministry's restrooms because he thought media had blown the project out of proportion.

Yesterday morning Chen said that there would be a "second referendum" before Dec. 1 to decide whether the restrooms needed to be relocated and remodeled. By the afternoon, however, he had changed his mind .

"The restrooms will stay where they are and in the condition they are in," he said.

Chen's office said that the minister wanted to put a stop to all the arguments and complaints.

The restrooms are in the center of the building on each floor. Chen came up with the idea of relocating the restrooms to the sides of the ministry because the Department of General Affairs had received complaints from employees that men and women were embarrassed whenever they bumped into each other in front of the restrooms, since men's and ladies' rooms are near each other.

The plan was to separate the men's from the ladies' rooms by a 70m-long hallway on each floor.

On Tuesday, the ministry distributed 413 "referendum ballots" to allow employees to decide whether the restrooms should be relocated and remodeled. A total of 315 valid ballots were collected and were scheduled to be counted yesterday morning.

However, Department of General Affairs Director Yang Ho-chin (楊合進) told Chen yesterday that the ballots were "not well-designed" so they decided to suspend the "referendum."

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