Netizens call for boycott of overpriced Ramadan bazaar traders after price of ‘murtabak’ spiralled

THE rising cost of living is a hot topic, more so during the fasting month as consumers note how prices of certain food items at Ramadan bazaars have risen significantly.

A trader’s sign justifying the price hike for murtabak citing increased cost of raw materials, specifically onions, was met with a stinging retort from @lady_bugg11.

Posting on X (formerly Twitter), the irate netizen pointed out that it was only one item used in the preparation of the dish that was costing more, so why the huge step up in selling price.

She sarcastically noted that it is not that each murtabak contained a kilogramme of onion, urging consumers to teach unscrupulous vendors a lesson by boycotting such businesses.

The post has since generated almost 864,000 views at time of writing with plenty of comments. This is what some had to say, with them pointing to the spillover effect of rising prices of goods.

More than a few were nonplussed by what they deem as unscrupulous business practices.

Quite a few said it was a convenient excuse for greedy traders to spike the prices.

One netizen sarcastically pointed out that if onions were expensive, then fill the murtabak with meat instead! After all, he was not going to order an onion murtabak, was he?

A few netizens said to let the principles of supply and demand dictate the situation while urging consumers to extend their boycott beyond Israeli-linked products.

Some suggested alternatives which included home cooking or buying from competitively priced shops, even if it meant same dishes every day. One netizen even kind-heartedly shared an online recipe for murtabak filling.

Another made a controversial suggestion of completely banning these bazaars to avoid multiple issues from cropping up. These include precious spots at the bazaars being monopolised by traders from the T20 segment.

There were some who sympathised with vendors, saying that the cost of trading at these bazaars had gone up.

With a couple outright disputing the poster’s observations that prices of other raw materials hadn’t gone up.

All said and done, these Ramadan bazaars have brought the spiralling cost of living into sharp focus. Perhaps it is indeed time for ordinary Malaysians to exercise a modicum of restraint, especially during the fasting month.

Whether it be patronising cheaper alternatives or making do with simpler meals, Malaysians can exercise their power as consumers.

While these Ramadan bazaars do add a lot of smells and sights, its primary purpose is to provide Muslims too busy with work commitments convenient and affordable choices to berbuka puasa (breaking fast). It is a sign of the times that even visiting such stalls has become the means of many.

So as many a netizen have said…. – March 19, 2024

Main pic credit: Rumah IBS

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