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Pisang Goreng, Keropok Lekor Now More Expensive After Cooking Oil Price Hike

The domino effect stemming from the surge in the cost of ingredients such chili and cooking oil has forced food traders to raise the prices of snacks such as pisang goreng, keropok lekor and fried chicken to stay afloat.

A check by the New Straits Times at several stalls in Pantai Dalam here and Kajang found that people now have to pay between 50 sen and RM1 more to enjoy the snacks, a decision traders said was made with great reluctance.

Zumara Zakaria, who owns the “Otaiii Goreng Pisang” stall in Jalan Pantai Permai in Pantai Dalam, said he has to set a higher price for his signature pisang goreng as well as keropok lekor following the rise in cooking oil prices.

The 54-year-old, who has been operating his stall for eight years, said he was dumbfounded at the drastic rise of up to RM42.50 for the 5kg oil he uses, describing it as the worst he has ever seen.

Zumara said he is thankful that he still has a steady flow of customers who do not mind the new prices.

“I show them the bottled cooking oil whenever there are questions on the higher prices. I have to be clear with them. If they feel they cannot afford it, I can give them the pisang goreng for free.

“Even the price of plastic packaging has gone up. The three times I have gone to stock up, there were different prices.”

In the worst-case scenario, Zumara said he may use the 1kg polybag cooking oil but the main problem is its scarcity at supermarkets and grocery shops.

“The shelves are bare. I cannot wait for them to stock up. My business has to go on. Otherwise, I cannot survive and my business will fold. I have a family to feed,” he said.

Echoing Zumara was “Alan Crispy Fried Chicken” owner Nurul Huda Aras Hasan, who said her customers at her food truck in Kajang have to pay 50 sen more for a piece of jumbo-sized fried chicken as well as chicken sausages.

The 42-year-old said the new prices, which are set at RM9 and RM4, respectively, are unavoidable as the cost of chicken and cooking oil has gone up alongside the seasoning, cheese sauces, skewers and plastic packaging.

She lamented that a packet of skewers has gone up by 20 sen but its quantity has been reduced, while the price of cheese sauces has also increased.

Nurul Huda feels it is reasonable to raise her prices by 50 sen, adding that prices at other places are even higher.

“I need to take care of my customers, too. Raising it by RM1 is too much. I feel 50 sen is all right, but even that was questioned.

“After explaining that everything has gone up, they understand and come back again. They just want to know. If we are honest, I am sure they will continue to support my business.

“So far, my business is okay. It has gone down a little but it is still manageable. To save cost, I survey various supermarkets before buying the ingredients.

“If there is somewhere I can save even 20 sen, I will go there as I do bulk purchases,” she said. – NST ONLINE

BacalahMalaysia Team

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