--- Taken from the Star
Food prices going up
PETALING JAYA: The price of food in restaurants and hawker stalls has been on the rise since the salary increase for civil servants from July 1.
Many consumers say they were paying more for the same meals while restaurant owners and hawkers admit increasing prices by between 20sen and 50sen.
Those who have not increased prices are serving smaller portions of food.
The National Consumers Complaints Centre (NCCC) said it was receiving more complaints about the rising food prices.
NCCC director Darshan Singh said that even the prices of teh tarik, Milo and Nescafe had gone up by between 50sen and RM1.
The NCCC works closely with the Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Ministry and forwards all complaints received to the enforcement division of the ministry.
The Consumers Association of Penang (CAP) said more enforcement was needed to rein in food prices.
“Clearly, many traders and restaurateurs are still not being kept in check. We have received many complaints,” CAP officer Uma Ramaswamy said.
She added that, in Penang, the food portions served had become smaller.
“Food prices, however, have in general only gone up by 10sen. But this (price increase) will continue if nothing is done.
“True, there is no law against increasing prices but the authorities should not just leave it at that,” she said.
Uma said CAP had also been encouraging the public to have more home-cooked meals to save money but this practice was troublesome for working couples.
Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Ministry’s enforcement (development) division deputy director-general Iskandar Halim Sulaiman said that under Ops Gaji, which started on May 21, the ministry had conducted 580,485 checks on grocery shops, restaurants and food outlets.
More than 130,000 compounds were issued and 550 restaurants hauled up for not adhering to their price list.
“So far, RM459,166 worth of goods have been seized and RM219,480 in compounds collected,” he added.
Those who have complaints about higher food prices and other essential items can call the enforcement division at 1800-886-800, SMS 32255 or e-mail email@example.com