Finding a piece of “roti canai” or a small glass of “teh tarik” at RM1 each, even in the remotest area is extremely difficult, if not impossible. Roti canai – a piece of round plain flat bread – is essentially one of Malaysia’s favourite dishes that is cheap and good for breakfast, lunch and even dinner. Restaurants have either reduced the size or increased the price.
Roti canai and teh tarik will cost more as restaurant owners are faced with rising prices of ingredients, The Malaysian Insight reports.
Restaurant owners told The Malaysian Insight some outlets have already raised their prices and others are likely to do so next month
But beginning next month, the prices of both food staples will officially become more expensive as restaurant owners are hit with increase prices of ingredients, despite claims by Finance Minister Tengku Zafrul and Economics Minister Mustapa Mohamed last week that inflation or prices of goods are still very low and under control. The government insists the inflation is at merely 2.2%.
Some restaurants had already increased the price of roti canai, selling between RM1.20 and RM1.70 a piece. But that could go up again next month to RM2.50 – about 45% increase. A glass of teh tarik could go from RM1.80 to RM2.50 – almost 40% increase. Some operators of mamak restaurants have increased prices of other foods as well, such as “murtabak” by RM1.
Malaysian Muslim Restaurant Entrepreneurs Association said 25 kilograms of wheat flour has gone up from RM45 to RM65. To make matters worse, there is hoarding of wheat flour to raise prices, creating shortages. The price increases and shortages came despite assurance from the Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Ministry that India’s wheat export ban would not affect local supply.
But the rising costs of wheat flour isn’t the only factor. The price of margarine has shot to RM100 from RM85, claimed Malaysian Indian Muslim Restaurant Owners Association (Presma). Other ingredients like cooking oil has also gone up – a five-litre bottle which used to cost RM27 is now being sold by suppliers at RM44, a jaw-dropping 63% jump. The story did not end there.
The increase in national monthly minimum wage effective May 1, from RM1,200 to RM1,500 – a whopping 25% – also means hiring has become more expensive, worsen by a shortage of foreign workers. Operational costs such as rentals, which also saw an increase, had forced restaurant operators to take extreme measures such as terminating free WiFi, even closing down their business.