Malaysian govt to act on complaints over service charge at eateries

 Malaysian govt to act on complaints over service charge at eateries

KUALA LUMPUR: The Government will come up with a win-win situation following overwhelming complaints lodged by consumers on the service charge fixed by eateries.

Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism Minister Datuk Seri Hasan Malek said complaints on the matter had been pouring in since the start of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) on April 1.

The grouses are rooted in the fact that the 6 per cent GST is applied to both the service charge and the total price of food and beverage items. In short, consumers end up forking out more money than before.

"We need some time to speak with the stakeholders concerned and we will come up with a win-win situation soon," he said.

He was speaking to reporters after launching a price reduction campaign by KK Super Mart, whose 197 branches nationwide have pledged to offer discounts of up to 87 per cent for 245 items.

Hasan said pending the outcome of the discussions, eateries would have to put up signage informing patrons that the GST and service charges would be applied.

"This will allow consumers to decide whether they want to pay that much for their food," he said, adding that while refusing to pay the service charge was an option, it was not as simple as that.

"Consumers can be brought to court by the restaurant or eatery, especially if they have clearly stated that they will impose the GST and service charge at their outlet," Hasan added.

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