Surprise checks to monitor Ramadan buffet prices in Melaka

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MELAKA: Authorities will monitor Ramadan buffets in the state to ensure prices are not excessively raised when the month of fasting begins on Monday, April 4, a Melaka exco member said.

State Unity, Community Relations, Human Resources and Consumer Affairs Committee Chairman Ngwe Hee Sem said spot checks would be carried out at hotels as well as restaurants offering buffets.

He said this was to thwart any attempt to raise buffet prices, especially as tourists will return after international borders reopen.

He said the buffets would also attract tourists eager to sample the variety of dishes offered by the restaurants.

Ngwe said no formal complaints have yet been received, but things could change when the month of fasting begins.

“It is also appropriate that we embark on preventive measures to prevent any attempt to offer buffets at exorbitant prices,” he said in an interview here on Saturday April 2.

Ngwe said that apart from hotels, price monitoring would be carried out at Ramadan and Hari Raya bazaars across the state.

Earlier, Melaka Chief Minister Datuk Seri Sulaiman Md Ali said hotels and restaurants should offer Ramadan buffets at reasonable prices to attract more customers.

“Don’t just look at the prices, but go for the volume of business to make it a win-win situation. I think hoteliers can maintain their previous prices,” he said.

In response, hoteliers in Melaka said buffet prices were reasonable, after taking into account rising food prices.

Feeter Francis, who runs the restaurant at the Casa Bonita hotel on Jalan Limbongan here, said the Ramadan buffets offered by hotels in the state are affordable and of high quality.

“We are doing our best to maintain an affordable dining environment despite high meat and vegetable prices.

“The high price of cooking oil has also cost us dearly,” he said.

Francis said they would continue their Ramadan buffet at reasonable prices while maintaining the quality and variety on offer.

Agnes Tay of Casa De Rio said their Ramadan buffets were always attractive to locals and foreigners alike.

“It’s still affordable because we’re doing our best to keep prices low despite rising raw material and labor costs,” she said.

Tay said demand for buffets is likely to increase during the second week of Ramadan.

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