Food traders forced to increase prices after hike in cost of raw ingredients

The prices of fish and other raw ingredients have surged, leading to hawkers in Melaka increasing their food prices. — Filepic

Hawkers in Melaka say they have no choice but to increase their food prices following the rising cost of raw ingredients.

Julaiha Baharin, 42, said she had to raise the price of her dishes recently as the price of fish such as mabong, kembong and siakap had surged.

She operates a stall in a shopping centre’s food court in Dataran Pahlawan, Bandar Hilir.

Julaiha said the increase of between RM2 and RM3 was to cover the operating costs of her business, such as a monthly rent of RM1,600 apart from water, electricity and gas.

“I have no choice since the prices of raw ingredients such as fish have almost doubled.

“For example, the price of mabong was RM12 per kg but now it is RM22.

“So I have to increase the price of my asam pedas dish from RM10 to RM12,” she said.

Mixed rice stall operator Husni Azmi, 46, said the increase in price at her eatery in Jalan Plaza Mahkota involved chicken and fish dishes.

She has been trading at the tourist hotspot for over 10 years.

“We traders are stuck when the price of raw materials go up, because we cannot increase our food prices at will.

“Apart from losing our customers, the authorities will fine us if we do,” she pointed out.

She hoped the government would continue to control the price of raw ingredients.

Ismail Jamaludin, 40, from Klebang said hawkers should not be blamed for raising their prices.

“Several parties are involved in the supply chain of raw ingredients.

“Those who go to the market will notice the sharp rise in items such as fish, chicken, vegetables and eggs.

“Consumers also have a choice to not buy food at high prices and to cook at home to save money,” said the private sector employee.

Trishaw rider Nas Harry, 53, said the increase in food price affected people like him the most as he has to eat out most times.

“The tourism industry in Melaka is still weak currently and not many people are taking trishaw rides.

“There were days when I had no income at all,” he said. — Bernama

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