With the national inflation and costs for essential goods soaring, it’s inevitable that mutton, too, will eventually be subject to a price revision.
Yesterday, the Star reported that a lack of farmers rearing goats was the main cause behind our now limited supply of mutton.
As of today, 1kg of mutton costs RM65, but mutton sellers believe that the price will rise along with the demand during the Deepavali festive season. The Malaysian Indian Restaurant Owners Association also confirmed that the meat may rise up to RM10 within the next few months, with the ceiling price set at RM75 per kg.
81-year-old mutton seller Abdul Kader Mohd Hasan said, “There is a decline in local mutton production because fewer local farmers are rearing goats.
“I’m presently selling imported mutton and lamb at a lower price than local mutton.
“A kg of imported mutton from New Zealand and Australia costs RM55 and is popular among marketgoers,” he said when approached by the Star at the Chowrasta market.
Meanwhile, Hameediyah Restaurant director Muhammad Riyaaz Syed Ibrahim noted that he believed the costs for food items will surge as a whole, however, his customers have been able to adapt to the price revisions in the name of indulging in quality food.
Even so, he noted that the management has decided to maintain the restaurant’s prices as of now to ease customers of the financial burden.
According to C. Krishnan, vice-president of the Malaysian Indian Restaurant Owners Association (Primas), the traditional mutton curry or mutton varuval is now considered a luxury product in eateries.
“Local mutton can cost up to RM75 per kilogramme. That’s why most eateries use imported and frozen meat, which costs only RM40 to RM50 per kg,” he explained.
Diners must fork out between RM15 and RM18 for a plateful of mutton curry prepared with frozen meat, and RM25 for a helping of local fresh mutton, as per Krishnan.
“The price has risen, and some diners are no longer selling mutton at all, or are only offering it as a special menu item,” he added.
Earlier today, the Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Ministry told the Star that the cost of mutton is being reviewed to ensure that there is no inordinate profiteering, despite the fact that the item is not on the list of controlled goods.
Although imported boned mutton was only a controlled item during Deepavali and Christmas, the ministry said it surveilled its price trend on a daily basis.
“Regulation against commercialism is conducted out not only during the holiday season, but all year. This is to guarantee traders function prudently and do not participate in unwarranted profiteering,” said enforcement director-general Azman Adam.
Meanwhile, netizens have taken to Twitter to express their displeasure towards the matter, as yet another meat source turns costly:
Azman mentioned that the department obtained seven grievances about mutton costs in 2021 and three as of July 25 of this year, claiming that 1,000 officers were actively monitoring the prices of goods, including that of boned mutton.
He also asserted that the ministry had various channels for customers to report inconsistencies and urged them to provide accurate and reliable information when filing updates.
If a consumer is not satisfied with the price or quality of goods or services, they may refer to MDTCC via: