Free 2 Pee: Indonesian minister calls on gas stations to waive toilet charges

A popular Indonesian meme depicting a pay toilet sign that reads, “peeing [costs] 1,000, bathing 2,000, and I love you 3,000,” the last of which is a nod to Iron Man’s iconic scene with his daughter in Avengers: Endgame
A popular Indonesian meme depicting a pay toilet sign that reads, “peeing [costs] 1,000, bathing 2,000, and I love you 3,000,” the last of which is a nod to Iron Man’s iconic scene with his daughter in Avengers: Endgame

Ever had to hold it in when you were filling up your car because you weren’t carrying loose change? Pay toilets are common at gas stations in Indonesia, and it’s a trend that one minister wants to see eradicated.

State-Owned Enterprises (SOE) Minister Erick Thohir on Monday posted a video depicting his visit to a gas station operated by state-owned oil and gas firm Pertamina in Probolinggo, East Java. In the clip, Erick conversed with the gas station’s pay toilet attendant, asking him why customers have to pay IDR2,000 (US$0.14) to pee and IDR4,000 (US$0.28) to bathe.

“I don’t know sir, I only work here,” the attendant said.

Erick went on to address Pertamina bosses and urged them to waive charges for what is ostensibly a public facility. The minister also acknowledged that many Pertamina gas stations are operated by private parties, but said pay toilets are still unnecessary because there are other streams (pun totally intended) of income.

“They’re already getting income from gas sales. And then there’s also the convenience stores. So customers should get additional public facilities [like free toilets],” Erick said in the video.

Pertamina yesterday responded to Erick, saying that it will instruct all gas station operators to ensure toilets are free to use and that their cleanliness is maintained.

Obviously, this matter should not be Pertamina’s number one (sorry, can’t help it) priority, but who wouldn’t like free and clean gas station toilets?

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