Big price hike in Little India – Star Metro, Wed, 9 July 2008
Story and photos by ELAN PERUMAL
The cost of two pieces of capati and a glass of teh tarik, which used to cost about RM4, has shot up to more than RM5.
The Klang Consumers Association (KCA) is obviously fuming over the recent indiscriminate price increase by the operators of food outlets.
According to KCA chairman A. Devadass, it is certainly unreasonable to charge RM5.20 for two pieces of capati and a glass of teh tarik for breakfast, but that is what the food stalls are doing.
Devadass said the price of a piece of idli (rice flour dumpling) had gone up from 70sen to 90sen and it was the same case with string hoppers (putumayam).
“A customer who eats three pieces of any of those stuff with a glass of tea or coffee will have to pay RM4.20 for their breakfast whereas they would have paid less than RM3 earlier,” he said.
“The price of thosai has increased from RM1.20 to RM1.50 per piece and a glass of fresh milk is going for RM1.90 from RM1.70 earlier,” Devadass told StarMetro.
According to the revised price list issued by the Klang Little India Traders Association, a banana leaf rice meal with chicken is priced at RM8.80, while the mutton meal costs RM9.30.
Devadass said the KCA had received numerous complaints from consumers on the higher prices imposed by the food outlet operators and he had filed an official complaint with the Domestic Trade and Consumers Association.
He said the escalating costs of essential items like foodstuff had badly hit consumers, especially the low-wage earners.
“The consumers said that breakfast for a family of four, including two children, costs about RM15. A main meal for the family costs up to RM30,” he said.
This means that just the three basic meals of breakfast, lunch and dinner for a family of four would cost at least RM75 a day.
Devadass said although the petrol price had increased by 41%, there was no justification for the doubling of the price of the simple foodstuff such as capati, thosai, idli and string hoppers.
Kampung Jawa resident S. Taneermala, 58, said she had no choice but to pay whatever price for her meals since there was nothing consumers could do about the situation.
“When I’m hungry, I need to eat and the price is something I have no control over. I had to pay whatever is asked,” she said.
There is something we as consumers can do. We can eat out less often. Eatiing-in is the best way to cut down on food bill.
Eating out may cost RM15 for a family of four including two children as pointed out above. For my family of six, with a jumbo roll of bread (which we can’t finish in one breakfast), spread such as kaya and margarine, breakfast costs less than RM5 or slightly more if you factor in the beverage.
Lunch need not be expensive either. Today I prepared pineapple fried rice using the extra rice I cooked yesterday.
- Fresh pineapple – RM2
- two Chinese sausages – RM2
- some beans and 2 eggs – RM1
- rice, garlic, oil etc – say RM2
- Total RM7 for four people.
Home-cooked dinners can be dished up for less than RM20. Today’s menu to feed six -
- one kampung chicken – RM13.50
- baked beans with eggs – RM2.50
- stir-fried cabbage – RM1.50
- rice – RM2
- Total RM19.50
One dish meals can even be cheaper. Eg. stewed pork meehoon only cost RM12. One tin stewed pork – RM8, sawi – RM1, meehoon – RM2, oil, onions etc – RM1.
What are you waiting for? Cook-lah!