KUALA LUMPUR: Former prime minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob has taken a dig at economic affairs minister Rafizi Ramli for blaming restaurants over the high prices in their menu despite the lower cost of raw ingredients.
Speaking to reporters in Kuala Terengganu yesterday, Rafizi said that while the cost of various ingredients had declined, the prices of food at some restaurants and stalls continued to increase.
Rafizi advised consumers to avoid food outlets that charged unreasonable prices.
Ismail, a former domestic trade and consumer affairs minister, said he had read media reports that if prices of food increased, these outlets should be boycotted.
“Boycotting restaurant operators will only burden them and it doesn’t help the public.
“If restaurant operators are buying raw materials at a high cost, the government must ensure these prices are reduced to help them sell food at an affordable price to benefit the public.
“This is what the government has to think about — not issue statements to easily wash their hands of the matter and blame the restaurant operators.
“There are many complaints from the public which require the government’s immediate action,” the Umno vice-president said on the sidelines of MCA’s Chinese New Year open house here.
Rafizi had made a similar call last month when he asked consumers to avoid buying unreasonably priced items to curb inflation.
Economists responded by saying that reducing demand to curb rising costs was too simplistic a solution.