Restaurants and stall operators are unhappy with the impending increase in the price of ice by 50sen per bag of 18kg.
Chan Wai Keong, 57, who runs a stall selling cendol and drinks in Jalan Tun Sambanthan 4, Brickfields, is concerned about the price increase.
He said with the present increase in the price of sugar, coconut milk and oil, it would add on the burden of small businessmen.
“They have told us about the increase in the price of ice but it has yet to materialise.
“In the past eight years, I have seen the price increase three times.
“This will have an effect on the business because they have increased all the prices, so naturally the cost will also increase,” he said.
Assistant manager Mohd Farouk Abdullah of Yusoof Restaurant in Brickfields said they used an average of seven ice bags daily, costing RM3 each.
Farouk said an increase would have a direct effect on ice usage and cost.
“It is difficult for us whenever they increase anything because customers will complain but we will have to cover cost.
“This year will be difficult for us because prices have increased for oil, sugar and everything else,” he said.
In Brickfields, Restoran Puteri operator Mohd Zin Rafee said even though there would be an increase in the price of ice, he would not chrage extra for food.
However, he said once the ice price was increased, drinks would also go up.
“We have been running the restaurant since 1984 and the key to keeping the business running is do everything in moderation price accordingly,” he said.
Student Yi Show, 23, said the increase would lead to people avoiding iced drinks.
He added that the government should look into the increase in prices.
Students Rupa Baskaran and Molly Letchaman, both 23 said the increase would be good for the ice manufacturers but not for consumers.
“With the cost of living increasing, any increase will have a direct effect on the people.
“But on the other hand, people would just be more aware on how they spend and drink,” she said.
According to Tube Ice Manufacturers of Kuala Lumpur, Selangor and Putrajaya the price of tube ice will be increased by 50sen per bag.
For the past two years, the price stood stable at RM3 per bag. From January, customers will have to pay RM3.50 per bag of 18kg.
The association took out a public notice in a local newspaper informing the public and customers that the raise would take effect beginning Jan 1.
It said production and distribution costs had been increasing over the last two years.
“However, in view of the drastic increase in all production materials, including plastic bags, insulated boxes as well as the escalating costs of distribution, especially the costs of maintenance of lorries but to adjust our price so that we can maintain the product’s quality,” it noted in the public announcement.
It also justified the increase by attributing the adjustment to the Health Ministry requirement under the Food Act that all ice producers and handlers improve food safety procedures.
Among the 22 sponsors of the notice were Atlas Edible Ice Sdn Bhd, Diamond Ice Sdn Bhd, Hao San Ice Industries Sdn Bhd and Jade Tube Ice Manufacturing Sdn Bhd. - theStar