GEORGE TOWN: Several nasi kandar joints here say they are not increasing their prices even though prices of key ingredients such as brinjal and red chillies have gone up.
Popular eating joint Nasi Kandar Beratur owner Ajmer Ali said he will not increase the price of the dishes for fear of losing his customers.
“We do not want to burden our customers with a price hike in view of the high living cost nowadays. The price of our food will remain,” said the restaurant operator in Jalan Masjid Kapitan Keling.
It was earlier reported that the price of certain vegetables had increased by more than 50% due to the low harvest as a result of the monsoon season.
Red chillies, which cost between RM8 and RM10 per kg several weeks ago, are now priced between RM15 and RM17.
The price of brinjal has also increased, from between RM3 and RM4 per kg to between RM8 and RM10 now.
Cucumber is also costlier these days, as it is priced at RM10 per kg compared with between RM6 and RM8 several weeks ago.
Liga Maju Nasi Dalca Ayam Negro Restaurant manager Fairus Khan Sirujudeen said although some vegetables are costlier these days, it would not be appropriate for food operators like him to increase the price.
“Most of our customers are those from the working class, and we don’t feel it is right to increase the price now,” he said, adding that the Federal Government should look into ways of stabilising the price of grocery items.
Famous Hameediyah Restaurant director Muhammad Riyaaz Syed Ibrahim said the restaurant will also refrain from raising its prices. “It will not be fair to our customers,” he said.
Vegetable farmer and seller Mohd Shahid Sapian said sales is slow despite the upcoming festive and holiday season.
“The price of vegetables is fluctuating. For the past few weeks, some vegetable prices have gone up by 50%,” he said.
He said the current monsoon season is also expected to hit most farmers in the months to come, and affect the price of vegetables.
Another vegetable seller Louis Law from Cameron Highland said sales was down due to rain.
“The monsoon also affected the production yield as it had slipped to about 40% to 50%,” he said.
The Federation of Vegetables Sellers Associations’ president Lee Kha Shiuann said the vegetable price would be lower when the monsoon ends and the production of vegetables increase.
Sunshine Whole Mart Sdn Bhd marketing and communication manager Bryan Wong said there is no change in sales of eggs and chicken at its supermarket chains.
Chicken trader Mohd Nasir Abdul Kalam, 33, said his supply is adequate for now, and he hopes that there won’t be a sudden price increase in the future.