“Beyond Our Control”: Prices At Hawker Stalls Could Increase By 40% & Everyone Is Suffering

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Along with the removal of subsidies for cooking oil and inflation, associations are now saying that prices of meals will increase as high as 40% due to the rise in costs of ingredients.

Malaysian Muslim Restaurant Owners Association (Presma) president, Datuk Jawahar Ali Taib Khan, said food prices have increased slightly, and is expected to increase this month.

“This is beyond our control. I requested my members to maintain old prices, but they can’t sustain anymore as their overheads have increased.”

He also highlighted that it is routine for the price of raw materials to rise once or twice a year, but this year is an exception.

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“Flour, condensed and evaporated milk, Milo and Nescafe prices, have increased three times. Not to mention chicken price also increased many times,” Datuk Jawahar Ali said, adding that Presma members will try to keep the increase to RM0.10 or RM0.20.

Ultimately it is the public who will suffer from these price hikes, albeit the fact that not all F&B owners want to increase prices.

Restaurant and Bistro Owners Association vice-president Jeremy Lim shared his sentiments with The Star, “Over the course of the past 27 months, prices of raw material, transportation and logistics have been increasing significantly.”

He also mentions that different business owners would have different strategies to managing around the price hikes, and that not everyone will necessarily increase their prices. However, they would have to make up for that loss another way.

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“We are also fearful that we might price ourselves out of the market. At the same time, for some businesses, if they don’t increase prices, they may be loss-making,” he said.

Kuala Lumpur Bumiputra Traders and Hawkers Association vice-president Datuk Muhammad Baba Kutty said prices of food sold by hawkers could increase by 25% to 40%.

An alternative he suggested would be for hawker stalls to reduce their serving portions.