KUALA LUMPUR, July 11 — Despite the minimum wage implementation, some food outlets have refrained from increasing their prices to avoid driving their patrons away.
“I know about the salary increase for my staff, but it would be unfair if I raise the food prices,” þ
“There have been price hikes in recent years because of the high cost of living,” said Lee, who owns the 88-year-old Yut Kee restaurant in Jalan Kamunting, off Jalan Dang Wangi.
Lee said that at about the same time the new minimum wage was announced, a price hike was already being implemented in his establishment.
“Just because July 1 came, it doesn’t mean I have to increase prices again,” he said.
He explained that there might be several factors contributing to a price hike.
“Property rentals vary in the city and this has a big effect on food prices,” he said.
“It’s not only businessmen who feel the pinch but also customers who have foreign maids.
“The customers are my source of livelihood but I just can’t raise prices because the minimum wage has kicked in.”
In Ipoh, prices remain unchanged at most of the popular restaurants, even during the recent Hari Raya holidays when many outstation folk returned to the city.
One of Ipoh’s famous nasi kandar operators, Nasi Ganja at Yuan Suan Coffee House, has maintained its prices.
Mohamad Zainudin Aslam, 37, a carpenter who visited the shop in Jalan Yang Kalsom, yesterday, said he paid RM5.30 for a plate of nasi kandar.’
“The price has remained the same for more than four years, if I’m not mistaken,” he said.
“I used to come to the restaurant twice a month. For RM5.30, you can get a plate of rice with a piece of chicken and vegetables.”
The price of a bowl of wantan mee at the Trade Parade Food Court costs RM2.30, and that for a plate of chee cheong fun at Keng Nam coffee shop stays at RM3.