PETALING JAYA: For many Malaysians, it is a major no-no to pay inflated prices for drinks considered as staple favourites at local eateries.
The issue went viral online after people shared receipts for two glasses of iced milo at RM8.40, a glass of iced green tea at RM2.80 and RM6.40 for two glasses of iced 'teh O limau’ at a Kuching food court.
"Ridiculous," said Keira Rum of paying RM4.20 for one Milo ice. "Next time I bring 3-in-1 milo and ask for the air kosong panas (plain hot water),” she added in a Facebook comment.
Melody Song said anyone imposing such a price “must be crazy.”
"Why don't they close shop and rob bank instead?! That would scare the customers away! If I were the customer, I won't step in there even if it were the one and only shop! I'll die of thirst first!” she added.
Sinniah Karuppiah said the “daylight robbery” by greedy business guys, which led to higher costs of living, will happen if the relevant authorities are sleeping on the job.
“Actually, Milo ice and lemon ice should be below RM2.50,” he added.
Wan Nor Adzahari also shared his working experience at a kopitiam-style shop in Penang, where a small cup of hot soya milk is sold for RM3.20.
"Wanna know how they made it? They bought a (packet) soya milk at a grocery store next door at a price of RM2. Pour a small amount of it into a cup, heat it in the microwave oven, and serve. Voila, instant profit. They've been doing this for years. Nobody bats a single eyelid,” he said on Facebook.
However, other commenters had a different take on the outrage.
Instead of paying for increasingly expensive sugary iced drinks, many advocated ordering plain water as a cheaper and healthier option instead.
"RM8++ for coffee at modern cafes, no one bats an eye. RM4.20 for Iced Milo, everyone loses their mind,” said Jason Khaw.
The Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism Ministry in Kuching has served a notice to the food court operator charging high prices for drinks.
Oong Ping Tiong said the food and beverage industry should question the ministry on why there is price control on consumables sold at their premises.
“The consumers forget they need to pay for the environment , eg. air con, nice ambience, high rental premises, high labour cost, location, etc.” he added.
Daryl Tan agrees and asked how prices can be compared as the locations, facilities, comfort levels and rental prices are different from one outlet to another.
“Just like asking the shops at KLIA to sell a glass of Milo at RM2.50. If expensive, do not go to eat and drink,” he said.
To Syed Zafirna WH, the subject should not be an issue at all as such a business transaction requires the agreement of both seller and buyer.
“There is a menu with price there. Meaning, the consumers being informed about the price prior to buy the drinks. If they still decided to buy, that means they agree with the price.
“If they think it is too expensive, just leave and go somewhere else. There many other outlets there selling similar drinks, why still choosing to buy there?” he said.
Read: Probe into RM4.20 milo iced