Another school found with CCTVs in toilets

PETALING JAYA - Another school in the Klang Valley in Malaysia has been found to have close-circuit television (CCTV) cameras in the students' toilets.

A member of the Parent-Teacher Association (PTA) of SMK USJ 12 in Subang Jaya revealed that cameras were installed in the boys' toilets a few years ago to catch those who smoke there.

School principal Siti Salmiah Yaakob insisted that the cameras were installed outside the toilets when contacted by The Star yesterday.

However, the committee member said live footage taken from the toilets' sink area had been viewed at the senior assistant's office.

"Whether the camera is only directed at the sink or otherwise, having cameras in the toilet is too close for comfort.

"Not many parents are actually aware that the cameras are inside the toilets since the students never complain about it.

"They (the students) may think that it is not an issue to have the cameras in there," said the committee member, who demanded the removal of the cameras before next week's PTA meeting.

The new CCTV controversy came about after SMK Sri Sentosa in Jalan Kuchai Lama was instructed by the Education Ministry on Thursday to remove such cameras from its toilets.

However, students from SMK Sri Sentosa feel that disciplinary problems might take a turn for the worse with the removal of the cameras.

Form Five student John (not his real name) said the toilets were much cleaner and functional after cameras were installed there in March.

"I would rather have the CCTV back than having no water to flush or wash my hands," he said when met at the school gate yesterday.

The school installed the cameras following repeated vandalism of toilet facilities, which led to broken pipes, among others.

Sri Sentosa principal Rahmah Abd Haji had earlier defended the move to install 64 CCTVs in the school with 2,043 students, saying that 70 per cent of parents supported it as the cameras were only pointing at the sink area.

The Education Ministry had ordered the removal of the cameras on the grounds that the students' privacy was violated.

An official from Sri Sentosa confirmed that the school was in the process of removing the cameras.