IN Singapore, some food and beverage (F&B) outlets have announced that they will implement a 10 per cent surcharge if they are operating during the Chinese New Year period.

Now a similar surcharge was allegedly spotted in Malaysia and this has brought on a debate amongst Malaysian Reddit users.

The unnamed customer was charged RM1 (the “CNY Surcharge”) for three plates of chilli pan mee at an undisclosed restaurant, according to a photograph posted by @nuaxiem at the top of the conversation under r/malaysia.

Opinions among local Redditors were divided: some asked if it was really necessary, while others backed restaurant owners who raised their prices if it was essential to pay operational expenses—especially for those who gave up their holidays to go to work.

“Has been an issue since 2014. If you want to take action, I advise lodging a complaint to the domestic trade ministry as this is profiteering.”

“Unfortunately, because people are willing to fork out rather than go through the inconvenience, other places just follow and do the same. Also a problem in Singapore,” commented a Reddit user.

Another user countered another by asserting that the owner of the restaurant has the right to increase rates during the holiday season as long as it is made obvious so that customers are aware of the change and have the choice to leave.

“As long as it’s clearly signposted that there is a surcharge, and customers can decide if they want to pay or not,“ he said.

Consistent with the sentiment conveyed by a user who noted that the extra was fair given that the employees had to give up their vacations with their families in order to sustain themselves.

“I think it’s fair. The only compensation that employees receive is for overtime and holidays; they are not permitted to take time off or spend time with their family.”

He explained, “Even business owners make sacrifices to operate their businesses during the event.”

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