A hapless eatery owner in Malaysia has been slapped with a RM30,000 (S$9,980) fine or six months' jail for selling iced Milo at what is deemed to be an unreasonable price of RM3.20 (S$1.06).
Shihan Mohd Salim, 28, who owns Anak Mami The Restaurant 3 in Kota Kinabalu, capital of Malaysia's state of Sabah on Borneo island, was charged under the Price Control and Anti-Profiteering Act 2011 for failure to provide full pricing details and receipts for beverages between Jan 2015 and March 2016, the New Straits Times (NST) reported last Friday.
Shihan was also accused of failing to show itemised charges for the Milo powder, milk and ice besides the drink's price tag during seven working days starting on May 9, 2016, the report said.
The charges were brought against Shihan by the Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Ministry after it received a complaint about the "expensive" drink from a consumer on March 7, 2016, the ministry's state deputy director V. Ravichandran was cited as saying at a press conference.
He said the ministry hoped businessmen would see the case as a cautionary tale against price gouging. "I also would like to advise consumers to report to our ministry if there are similar cases in future."
Shihan was represented by Mr P. J. Pereira during the Sessions Court proceedings which began on Oct 24, 2016.
It is not clear from the NST report when Shihan was found guilty of the charges and sentenced.
The rising cost of living has been a bane in Malaysia after former premier Najib Razak introduced a 6 per cent goods and services tax (GST) in 2015.
What the eatery owner was selling one cup of iced Milo for.
What he has been fined for overpricing the drink.
The issue is deemed to have been a factor in Najib's shock loss in the May 9 election this year.
The new government under Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad has repealed GST and re-introduced the sales and services tax of between 5 per cent and 10 per cent on selected goods, and 6 per cent on selected services.