Consumers: 50sen rise will have big impact on expenses

Soaring prices: The new ceiling price for standard chicken and eggs is set to be enforced tomorrow. — ONG SOON HIN / The Star

JOHOR BARU: Despite an increase of only 50sen, the new ceiling price for standard chicken at RM9.40 per kg effective tomorrow will have a big impact on the lives of many households, say consumers here.

They said they were already struggling to cope with the current ceiling price of chicken of RM8.90 per kg.

Businesswoman Chua Kim Fong, 45, said she would have to further cut down her family’s consumption of chicken with the increase in the ceiling price.

“I do not know how we are going to cope if this continues. The price of chicken is already very expensive now,” she said.

“The increase to RM9.40 per kg will have a huge impact on consumers, especially those from the lower income bracket.

“I have reduced the consumption of chicken in my house with the current price, with the new ceiling price effective tomorrow, I have to reduce more,” she said.

Chua is hoping the government will consider maintaining the current ceiling price of chicken at RM8.90 per kg for the benefit of the public.

Salon employee and part-time makeup artist Abdul Hakim Azmi, 27, said the Bantuan Keluarga Malaysia (BKM) aid was not enough to help consumers cope with the increase in the price of chicken and other essentials.

“The money from BKM will not last long, but the increase in the price of chicken will most likely continue for a long period.

“It is getting increasingly difficult for me to cope and I have started cooking canned food now to reduce costs,” he said.

Besides chicken, Abdul Hakim said he also had to reduce the consumption of seafood and certain vegetables due to price hike in the last few months.

Meanwhile, Johor Indian Muslim Entrepreneur Association (Perusim) secretary Hussein Ibrahim said with the increase in the ceiling price of standard chicken, restaurants would have no choice but to increase the price of their chicken dishes.

“We have been trying very hard not to increase the price of our meals as we know that our customers will not be happy.

“It has put us in a very difficult position as we do not want to upset our customers but at the same time, we also cannot continue absorbing the extra cost,” he said.

Hussein urged the government, particularly, the Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Ministry, to increase monitoring the price of essentials.

“There will be parties taking advantage of the situation to further increase the price of essential items.

“Constant monitoring from the ministry is crucial to help the people cope with the rising cost of living,” he said.

Earlier, Agriculture and Food Industries Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ronald Kiandee said that the new ceiling price of standard chicken had been set at RM9.40 per kg.

He also said the Cabinet decided that the retail price of Grade A eggs would be set at 45sen each; Grade B 43sen and Grade C 41sen.

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