No price increase at eateries

GEORGE TOWN - Although prices of various goods have increased following the 20 sen price hike for RON95 and diesel, many eateries are still maintaining their old prices for food and drinks - for now.

These include members of Malaysian Muslim Restaurant Owners Association (Presma).

Presma president Noo­rul Hassan Saul Hameed said the association with over 3,000 members nationwide could still absorb the cost and not increase the price at the moment.

"We are taking the 'wait-and-see' approach at the moment. Most of our members still have about one month's supply of goods that were bought before the price of RON95 petrol and diesel was raised.

"There is no need to increase the price of food and drinks for now," he said yesterday.

The association, he said, welcomed the state Domestic Trade, Cooper-atives and Consumerism Ministry to take action on operators who increased the price unreasonably.

State ministry chief enforcement officer Abdul Rosik Yakub said there was no complaints or reports on the increase in the prices of food and drinks so far.

Abdul Rosik said the ministry would also verify a report in a Malay daily which reported that several restaurant operators here had increased the prices of teh tarik, roti canai and nasi lemak by 20 sen.

In Petaling Jaya, hawkers and restaurant owners complained that prices of goods such as eggs and prawns have shot up, two days after the price of RON 95 and diesel was increased.

Prices of eggs have increased by two sen each, said Kayu Nasi Kandar managing director Burhan Moha­med.

He said his supplier informed him of the price hike yesterday morning.

Char kway teow hawker Ong Keat Leong also said that the price of prawns had gone up by RM4 (S$1.50) per kilogramme recently.

"But we can't simply increase our prices, especially at this time when everyone is struggling to cope with the inflation," he said, adding that he would maintain his price at RM5 per plate of noodle for now.

Another restaurant operator, Alan Khor, said he feared that the price of cooking gas would go up next.

"It is just a matter of time," he said.

Nasi campur stall hawker Zaila Ibrahim said she was reluctant to raise the price of her mixed rice as she did not want to face angry customers again.

"The last time my food price went up, the customers were complaining and it took me quite a while to explain to them.

"But if everything goes up, I have no choice but to increase the price again," she said.

However, some operators have agreed that they would absorb the extra costs incurred.