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Why should I pay more for a teh-o kosong suam?

Teh-o kosong suam.

When translated, it means warm tea, without milk and sugar.

It’s a drink I usually order when I am at a mamak restaurant.

But I have an issue with the price of the drink. At some places, one would be able to get it for just 80sen but at most places, it ranges between RM1 and RM1.50 — no different from a glass of teh tarik, with milk and sugar.

When questioned about the unfair pricing, the foreigner who mans the cashier would usually either stare blankly or give a sly smile. That leaves you wondering if the foreigner actually understood what you had said.

Why would a drink — a mixture of boiled water and a teaspoon of tea leaves — cost so much? The same can be said about dishes served at such eateries. A plate of fried noodles may cost RM3 but the moment you ask for mee goreng vegetarian, it shoots up to RM3.50. And why should one pay RM3 for a plate of Indo mee goreng — a packet of fried instant noodles with no meat or vegetables?

Ridiculous as it may sound, many of us are forced to dig deep into our pockets for substandard food at mamak restaurants.

Yet, the Malaysian Muslim Restaurant Owners Association (Presma) had on Sunday proposed a price hike for drinks and food from March.

This took the Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism Ministry by surprise as its minister, Datuk Seri Hasan Malek, had yesterday said he was scheduled to meet Presma on this matter.

Read more in Haresh Says, as published in The Malay Mail today.

HD says: It's so difficult finding good food these days.


  1. Bro Haresh,
    I dont think we are all doing our part in sending out the right message to the general public. Price increases and GST etc are normal consequences when we want to progress to be a developed country. Government infrastructures etc need to be increased as well and we have to move away from the subsidy culture which no country can afford in the long run. How long can the government go on subsidizing everything when there are also other pressures on the economy and when we are increasingly moving into an open economy.
    Lets be honest, can we really find another country with our level of economic and social development where you can by something equivalent to a 'mamak mee goreng'; for less than RM3-00!!!


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