Five-year ‘leap’ in food prices

The Sun (Malaysia) - - NEWS WITHOUT BORDERS - BY KONG SEE HOH

FOOD prices have gone up the most in the last five years, some by more than 100%, ac­cord­ing to a re­port by China Press that com­pares the prices of goods and costs of ser­vices from 2011.

If the Chi­nese say­ing “Food­stuff is al­limpor­tant to peo­ple” is to be taken se­ri­ously, one can imag­ine how much the spike in food prices has im­pacted on peo­ple’s lives.

The re­port pointed out that roti canai cost only 60 to 80 sen five years ago, but it now costs be­tween RM1.20 and RM1.50, mean­ing an in­crease of 100%.

Sim­i­larly, canned drinks sold for RM1.20 each at cof­fee shops in 2011 now cost RM2.20 each. Even air suam (warm wa­ter) has gone up to 60 sen a glass, from 30 sen be­fore.

And a plate of fried noo­dles, which was sold for be­tween RM4 and RM4.50 five years ago, now cost RM5 to RM6.

And there is no respite from the waves of price hikes for those who do not eat out. Canned food prices have been go­ing up yearly. For ex­am­ple, a cer­tain brand of canned sar­dines that cost just RM4 a can in 2011 is now sold at RM9.70.

In­stant noo­dles, which were sold at about RM4 per pack of five be­fore, cost about RM6 now.

The prices of fresh veg­eta­bles, fish and meat have all gone up in the last five years.

Fam­i­lies with ba­bies lament the in­crease in the prices of in­fant for­mula: a cer­tain brand that was sold at RM17.90 a tin of 1kg now costs RM24.90.

House prices on the av­er­age have been in­creas­ing by 10% a year, far greater than the pay raise of the av­er­age Malaysian.

Pub­lic trans­port charges also saw sharp in­creases last year.

Econ­o­mist Datuk Chua Tia Guan told the daily that food and goods price in­creases are closely re­lated.

He said Malaysians should in­crease their in­come to off­set the ef­fects of in­fla­tion.

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