Some JB Eateries Reportedly Raising Prices As More S’poreans Visit


While most of us might complain almost every day after seeing our meals at the food court increase in price, it seems like our neighbours over in Malaysia haven’t been spared either.

Recently, multiple Johor Bahru (JB) restaurants and coffee shops have been seen raising their prices, with the increase being anywhere from a few sen to around RM1 (approximately $0.31).

And while the price hikes coincide with the reopening of the land borders between Singapore and Malaysia, business owners have claimed that the reason behind the price adjustments is inflation in Malaysia.

Here’s what they have to say.

Eatery Owners’ Perspectives

According to local eatery owners, most of them decided to raise the price of their food and drinks due to the increase in the cost of living.

Even though this might cause them to lose some of their customer base, locals in particular, they still said that increasing the cost is the right decision for their businesses.

Charmaine Tan, a 36-year-old restaurant owner, told The Star that she chose to increase the price of her establishment’s food and drinks earlier this year in January.

Drinks at her restaurant near Danga Bay now cost around 20sen to 30sen more than they originally did, and food has gotten more expensive by anywhere from 50sen (approximately $0.16) to RM1 (approximately $0.31).

However, she also expressed that she will not be increasing the price of the items any further for now even though the prices of raw materials are still rising, making her earn less profit.

This is because it may not “sit well” with the customers who buy from her.

She explained that there has been an increase in the number of customers since the borders reopened, allowing her to continue covering her cost for now.

As for Lim Toh Huei, the third-generation owner of the well-known banana cake bakery Hiap Joo Bakery, he shared that his store has increased the price of its cakes by RM2 (approximately $0.62) from RM10 to RM12.

For him, he cited the increase in the cost of bananas and other baking ingredients as the reason behind the increase in price, but also noted that the store has not seen a dip in business, especially on weekends.

Associations’ Perspectives

On the other hand, the various associations related to the Food and Beverage (F&B) industry had other opinions instead.

According to Tiong Kiu Wong, the chairman of the Johor Bahru Coffee, Restaurant and Bar Operators Association, F&B establishments were urged to keep the increase in prices of their items to a minimum.

Although Tiong admitted that the owners being affected by the increase in the prices of raw materials and rent is inevitable, he also pointed out that an unreasonably large increase in price may be “a burden to customers”.


Hussein Ibrahim, the secretary of the Johor Indian Muslim Entrepreneur Association, also noted that dishes at various Indian Muslim eateries and mamak shops cost slightly more nowadays.

With a 10sen to 20sen price hike, he explained that the establishments will try their best to keep the prices as they are.

However, this might change if the costs of ingredients like chicken and eggs increase in the future.

He also added that as compared to reducing food portion sizes, the slight increase in the prices of dishes is a better way to resolve the issue of inflation since the former might attract more customer complaints.

Restaurant Owners Using Inflation “As an Excuse” to Increase Prices

However, Johor Consumer Movement Association president Md Salleh Sadijo claimed that F&B establishments have been using the rise in the cost of living as an “excuse” to justify their unreasonably high price hikes.


He pointed out that these businesses, most of which are in the city, have been earning much more in profit due to the steep hike in the prices of their dishes since they know that they will still be able to attract Singaporean customers.

This is because Singaporeans who dine at their establishments will not feel the impact of the hike as much due to Singapore’s strong currency, but Malaysians themselves will suffer instead as they now have to fork out much more in order to have a meal.

He also urged the government to observe the situation and implement measures to “protect the rights” of their local consumers.

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Consumers’ Perspectives

And for the consumers, it’s no surprise that most of them have been feeling the additional strain on their wallets.

Hariz Hamid, a 25-year-old videographer, told The Star that RM8 used to be sufficient for a meal with rice and two dishes, as well as a drink, but such a meal costs at least RM10 nowadays.

Other dishes such as fried chicken have also seen an increase in price from RM4 to RM5 according to him.


Wolni Jungin, a 38-year-old housewife, highlighted that everything has become more expensive in recent months, and that she tries to reduce the number of times she eats out due to the high prices.

She added that her favourite restaurant has increased the price of a piece of plain roti canai by 20sen.

To know why things have become more expensive recently, watch this to the end:

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Featured Image: Gwoeii /