PUTRAJAYA: Customers at mamak and Indian restaurants will not be asked to pay more for their teh tarik and roti canai as the two associations representing these eateries have given the assurance they will not hike up their prices despite the increased cost of sugar and LPG.
“We have held meetings with the Malaysian Muslims Restaurant Operators Association and the Malaysian Indian Restaurant Operators Association and they have assured us their members are not planning a price hike,” said Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism Ministry deputy secretary-general Datuk Daud Tahir.
He added that the ministry would be meeting representatives of Chinese eatery operators soon to discuss the matter but it was confident that they too would not raise prices indiscriminately.
Daud said the ministry cannot act against any price increase of food and drinks at these places as the items sold at the eateries do not come under its list of controlled items.
The ministry, however, would monitor the situation and accordingly advise the operators of these eateries, he added.
“But consumers have the power to force unscrupulous operators to reduce their prices by boycotting eateries looking to make quick gains,” he told a press conference here yesterday.
Daud said the ministry had carried out its own calculations from the higher prices and noted that price increases would range between one and three sen per item.
“The prices for popular items like teh tarik, roti canai, roti telur, cucur udang and pisang goreng would rise by one sen or less and three sen for items like milkshakes and sirap bandung.
“The cost-pass-through calculation system, created specifically for the ministry by a private consultant, calculates the amount passed on to consumers when retailers face an increase in operating costs when prices of goods rise.
“The ministry had sought the calculation system as a means for it to accurately determine the impact on consumers each time prices are raised, as part of the rationalisation of subsidies for sugar and fuel.
“From our calculations it is clear that the increase in cost for food and drinks is minimal and the eateries, therefore, have no reason to raise their prices,” he said.
Daud said the rise of the global market price for cooking oil to RM3,800 recently had led to speculation that the prices in the country too would rise, resulting in consumers as well as traders buying and storing the oil in large quantities.
“Consumers need not fear an increase in prices as the Government has decided it will maintain the current prices of cooking oil and wheat flour when the decision to raise sugar prices was made on Dec 4,” he said, adding that the Government realised that such an increase would burden consumers.