GST: Many to opt for cheaper alternatives

Having a meal together: (From left) City University students Sitiazeera Ubayathulla (front), Aminathu Sithiga Chelvan Salim (second left), Chadramathy (front), and Kamal Muhamad Azman (back) said they would find cheaper alternatives to fast food once GST sets in.

MOST consumers said they would be more careful when eating out now that the Goods and Services Tax (GST) is implemented effective today.

Some said they would look for cheaper food options, while others said they were unlikely to make any lifestyle changes.

Shahful Rizad Soid said the implementation of GST would not affect his eating habits as he still needed to eat out on a regular basis. “My colleagues and I tapau meals two to three times a week, and we will continue doing so post-GST,” said the 32-year-old technician.

“The situation with GST is just like what happened with the increase in petrol prices. Despite the mad rush the night before the hike, we still have to fill up car tanks as usual.”

However, Shahful said he would make other adjustments to his lifestyle, such as eating out on fewer occasions with his family.

Kamaruddin Shaik Alaudeen eats out for lunch every day though his wife cooks lunch.

“Packing meals for lunch is not an option as my wife and I both have to rush to work in the morning. I get my meals from the shops near my workplace, which includes fast food and mamak restaurants,” said the 31-year-old assistant manager.

The father of two said he would be more careful with his grocery shopping, though paying more for items such as diapers.

College student V. Chadramathy, 19, said she and her friends will go for cheaper options such as mamak and food courts.

McDonald’s Malaysia said there won’t be any increases in their prices, as the 6% GST will replace the existing 6% government services tax. —Photo by AZMAN GHANI

A check by StarMetro at several fast food restaurants in Section 14, Petaling Jaya, drew mixed reactions, with one stating that there would not be any price changes while another said prices would go up today.“The new 6% GST will replace the existing 6% government services tax, which is already being paid by customers at all McDonald’s Malaysia restaurants.

“So there won’t be price increases in all of McDonald’s menu line-up,” said McDonald’s Malaysia Marketing and Communications senior director Melati Abdul Hai.

“In fact, customers will pay the same amount or even less for their food because McDonald’s will be absorbing the GST for selected menu items, as part of its All-Day Value initiative to pass on savings to customers.”The lower prices under the All-Day Value initiative covers several menu items, including the popular set meals such as the Filet-O-Fish and Double Cheeseburger Extra Value Meals, which are priced at only RM7.95 inclusive of GST.

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