KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 27— Mamak restaurants have been instructed against hiking the prices of their food and drinks once the Goods and Services Tax (GST) comes into effect on April 1, Indian Muslim (Mamak) Restaurant Association (Presma) president Noorul Hassan Saul Hameed has said.
In an interview with Berita Harian, Noorul Hassan said the directive has been issued to all Presma members, and pledged that the mamak eateries throughout the country will abide by this decision.
“We have no right to raise the prices of our food and drinks. We will not do so but our customers will be charged the 6 per cent GST tax.
“The additional price is not because of us but because of the GST,” he was quoted saying.
“We in Presma have always tried not to increase our prices because the competition in this business is very stiff.
“Customers are smart, if we sell things that are too expensive they can boycott that particular restaurant or complain about it on Facebook,” Noorul Hassan added.
The Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Ministry has said it will take action against rogue businesses found guilty of profiteering.
Consumers should lodge complaints about the restaurants if they have evidence, he said, dodging wider questions on why popular “mamak” restaurants persistently ignore government warnings by hiking prices whenever fuel prices go up, but do not budge when prices drop.
Malay Mail Online reported back in January that mamak restaurants, staple dining spots in most locales across the Klang Valley and major cities, have refused to bring down prices despite an expected drop in overhead costs triggered by tumbling fuel prices.
These outlets, however, were quick to inflate prices when government announced the rise in fuel prices, with dining receipts said to have almost doubled immediately after the announcement.
The GST will be levied at a rate of 6 per cent beginning April 1.