MIRI: There has been a multi-fold increase in prices of foodstuff and drinks in Sarawak after the fuel price increase two months ago.
A random check showed that iced milo and iced lemon tea is now sold at RM2.30 a glass in some outlets compared to the previous price of RM1.50.
The price of a bowl of wantan mee had also shot up. In some outlets, dry wanton mee is sold at RM4 compared to RM2.50 previously.
A bowl of plain kolok mee is priced between RM2.50 to RM3 compared to RM1.70 before.
A plate of economy rice (with two vegetables and one meat) now costs between RM4 and RM5.
Only a handful of outlets are selling economy rice at RM3 to RM3.50, which is the old price.
Prices of wet market products have also shot up.
Pork costs RM15 per kg, an increase of RM3.
Restaurants and high-class coffeeshops selling food with pork as its main ingredient have raised prices as well.
A plate of char siew rice at a renowned coffeeshop near the city has increased from RM3.50 to RM5.
Flour and rice prices went up last month, and traders are passing on the increases to consumers.
Ministry of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Miri division chief Zakaria Awang said some price increases did not make sense.
“The price of fuel has stabilised. There are no more increases in petrol or diesel prices, so transportation charges have stabilised.
“Therefore, prices of foodstuff should not keep increasing. However, it seems that some meat sellers, coffeeshops and restaurant operators continue to raise prices at will.
“They have no valid reason to keep charging higher and higher. This increase will encourage other businesses and service providers to raise charges,” he said in an interview.
Zakaria said the ministry did not have the power to stop price increases at food outlets unless it involved controlled items.
He urged consumers to stop patronising shops and restaurants that continued to impose higher charges without reason.