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Vol II: The Mis-Adventure Continues
Funny stories, witty encounters and serious reflections from Malaysia as experienced by a vegetarian struggling to understand the world.

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Sunday, June 24, 2007

How much is a glass of water worth?

Yes, this is currently a hot issue. If you have been following the news lately, you would have read about the government and the restaurant owners going head-on over this water issue.

So, how much is a glass of water worth anyway? Note the term used is 'worth' and not 'cost'. I'm sure we all know a glass of plain water costs about 1 sen (or less). Well according the the government, a glass of plain water is worth 5sen. The cutthroat coffeeshop owners, on the other hand, thinks it is worth 50sen.

I can where the government is coming from. I can see the government is trying to fight for the people. After all, election is just around the corner they are the representatives elected by the people and for the people. But aren't they forgetting that the businessmen/ coffeeshop owners are also entitled to a vote? Then again... That's only a few votes.

But I can also see where the businessmen are coming from... After all, every item they sell should at least earn them 50sen or so, otherwise, it is just not worth selling. It would be a waste of time and more importantly, shop space. A can of Cola can easily cost rm2 in a coffeeshop. Buy it from Giant during the festive seasons, you can probably get a can at 80sen or less.

It is not just plain water. With the recent increase in civil servant's salary, I have noticed a few other items going up. A restaurant I frequent started charging rm1.60 for a glass of coffee. This shop even had the cheek to post a memo from the area's coffeeshop owner's association claiming all the shops there agree to the price increase. Even bank employees are now asking for a 30% pay rise.

And I seem to recall a minister saying the government will not allow anyone to raise prices just because the civil servants got a pay rise (it seemed that each time the civil servants get a pay rise, everyone else takes the opportunity to also increase their prices).

Is all these 'publicity' actually necessary? I sincerely think not. After all, if someone feels a glass of plain water is not worth 50sen, then just don't order it. I stopped ordering drinks from the coffeeshops I feel are 'cutthroat' business operators. I am not shy about that. It's my money and I decide how I spend it. If they boss ever asks me, I'll just tell him I don't like to pay rm1.60 for a glass of coffee.

Anyway, nowadays, I carry a Tupperware of plain water with me everywhere I go. Plain water is good for health and it is very cheap when you 'pack' it from home.

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Please leave your comments. There are 6 comment(s).

On 6/25/2007 09:31:00 AM Anonymous happy4ever said:
Point is, if nothing is done by the government, inflation will set in. All it takes is one small price increase, the rest follows.

Singapore's standard of living, if I'm not wrong, is lower than KL. Food and clothing is cheaper. Way cheaper.
I think it all falls down to enforcement, which we lack very much.

More so when our enforces choose to fleece & exploit citizens. From police to Rela, to citihalls and puspakom...etc. We are doomed.
On 6/28/2007 03:22:00 PM Blogger Taikor said:
I'm in total agreement with you, Adrian. I've been carrying a water bottle to wherever I go because I think the water and beverages that people serve are not worth the value.

happy4ever: Food and clothing is cheaper.

Food I'm not sure but clothes are cheaper because they're tax free. JBrians always flock to S'pore to buy clothes because they're always up to the latest trend and most importantly cheap.
On 6/28/2007 07:59:00 PM Blogger adriantai said:
happy, its not that bad la in malaysia... :)
On 7/03/2007 09:33:00 AM Blogger team BSG said:
it is strange actually this malaysian behavior. Logically if one thinks something is expensive go for alternatives ( like you did ). Businesses who charge more than norm shud according to economics become uncompetitive and soon close shop. Why are they still around ! ? ya lah loyal customers what the heck !
On 7/03/2007 06:07:00 PM Anonymous happy4ever said:
team_bsg, unfortunately, it will be the norm, as others seeing those shops which jackup the price still have customers, they will follow. In the end, every shops jack up their price. >_<

Malaysia is expensive, corrupt and not safe anymore. >:(
On 7/04/2007 09:07:00 AM Blogger adriantai said:
happy, why so negative.

team bsg, i dun think its out of loyalty to the shop. i think the business owners have done 'marketing research' and they know that for many, 50sen is still 'not too expensive' and affordable.

i know of one vegetarian shop that had a stall in another location. that stall sold really solid vegetarian bahkutteh @ rm5.90, inclusive of 1 bowl or rice. the main shop, on the other hand, sells the same thing at rm8.90, without rice. if you want rice, add rm1 (or was it 50sen). anyway, the stall closed down and so i was left with only one place to have the BKT. but i was not willing to pay the extra $$$, so i stopped going to that shop... maybe instead of twice a month, i go like once every 2-3 months (cannot resist such good BKT and stay away for good... hahahaha).
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