Restaurant fined $1,356 for 34-cent nasi lemak price hike

SHAH ALAM: A restaurant here was fined RM4,000 (S$1,356) by the Sessions Court for raising the price of its nasi lemak by RM1.

Restoran Silva's Curry House in Subang Jaya raised its price for a normal plate of nasi lemak from RM2.50 in January to RM3.50 in June last year.

It failed to furnish sales receipt to justify the increase after a report was lodged with the Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism Ministry.

T. Gopinath, 36, the owner of the restaurant, pleaded guilty to the charge at a Sessions Court here and was fined RM4,000 for the offence.

The company committed the offence at the restaurant premises at 121, Jalan SS15/5A, Subang Jaya at 11.25am on June 29 last year, under Section 53A of the Price Control and Anti-Profiteering Act 2011.

It is punishable under Section 57(b) of the same Act, which carries a fine of up to RM500,000 or two years in jail, or both, upon conviction.

Mohd Zarif Anwar Mohd Ali from the ministry lodged a complaint against the company.

Through a court interpreter, Gopinath, who was not represented, requested for a lighter sentence as he was the sole breadwinner in his family and had to support his aged mother, who had just undergone heart bypass surgery.

Deputy Public Prosecutor A. Karthiyayini requested the court to give a deterrent punishment as the company had been in business for three years and should have been aware of its duty to keep important business records.

Judge Ahmad Azhari Abdul Hamid later meted out the RM4,000 fine, in default 14 days in jail.

In another case, Ting Pooi Guan, 59, director of Trendcell Sdn Bhd, which owns the Jaya Grocer supermarket, pleaded guilty at the same court to selling the Sweet Meadow New Zealand Wild Flower Honey 500g at an unreasonably high price.

Judge Ahmad Azhari fined the company for RM30,000 in default of a month's jail.

The company was said to have attempted to increase its profit margin by raising the price of the honey from RM28.90 on January 6 to RM43.99 on May 6 last year. Both prices were inclusive of the goods and services tax (GST).

The company is said to have committed the offence at the Jaya Grocer premises at Mutiara Tropicana PJU 3 in Petaling Jaya.

It was charged with an offence under Section 14(1) of the Act, which carries a fine of up to RM500,000 upon conviction.

For second or subsequent offences, the offender faces a maximum RM1mil fine if found guilty.

DPP Karthiyayini prosecuted and Ting was represented by his lawyer V. Kalearasu.

Both Gopinath and Ting paid their respective fines.