Home CLR Opinion Can You Survive On RM1,050, Minimum Wage, A Month?! We Test It...

Can You Survive On RM1,050, Minimum Wage, A Month?! We Test It Out.


So, as you have heard, the minimum wage for the entire nation – yes, including Sabah and Sarawak – has been increased to RM1050.

Human Resource Minister, M. Kulasegaran. Source: MalayMail

The announcement was made on Wednesday, the 5th of September.

It’s important to note that the previous minimum wage set by the Minimum Wage Order 2016 was…

RM1,000 for Peninsular Malaysia and RM920 for Sabah and Sarawak.

So, that’s an increase of RM130 for peeps in Sabah and Sarawak…

Oh Yeah
But only RM50 for peeps in the Peninsular.
Yeah, that’s an increase, at least…

The Malaysian reactions? Well, it was mixed, to say the least.

So, we decided to test out whether RM1050 a month is enough to survive on. 


As it is quite impossible for us to run a test for an entire month. As for now, we decided to conduct the experiment for a week and allocated RM262.50 for the entire experiment.

Pssst, if you are wondering why RM262.50. It’s because a month has an average of 4 weeks, so RM1050 divided by 4. Well, you do the maths.

After that, we got a volunteer – ahem, a victim – to conduct the experiment on; aka me, the author.

No, it was not as dramatic. More like, Boss:”You do it!”

The expenses

Transportation and toll charges

So our office is located at VSQ@PJCC and our test subject lives in Kajang. That’s approximately a 35.3km drive via the KL-Seremban High and Federal Highway.

As our writer (aka me) drive to work, the cost of petrol to and fro from Kajang to Petaling Jaya is an approximate RM10 per day. In addition, there are 4 toll booths within the journey with a total cost of RM5.60.

Multiply that with 5 working days, it adds up to RM78. 

On the weekend, our writer had to attend a function at Putrajaya, so that costed an additional RM10 in petrol money and RM3.60.

Total Cost: RM91.60

And that’s just the transport!


Food within the Klang Valley area isn’t cheap, as you all know. Finding cheap food is like finding a needle in the haystack.

Luckily for our writer, our office is located near Jaya One mall and also several foodcourts so, plus she has bosses who are super generous at times.

Here’s a breakdown of what she ate for lunch and how much it cost.
  • D-1: Mixed Economy Rice (RM6.00)
  • D-2: 2 x Onigiri (RM5.20)
  • D-3: Chili Pan Mee (RM12.05)
  • D-4: Boss Belanja!! (RM0.00)
  • D-5: Fried Dumplings (RM6.00)
  • D-6: Homecook meal (RM0.00)
  • D-7: Briyani (RM11.90)
Total Cost: RM41.15

This is without including dinner as our writer was on a dinner-strike when the experiment was carried out.

Phone charges

Our writer subscribes to a post-paid plan by a local cell provider which cost RM50 per month, thus costing an average of RM1.70 per day.

Total Cost: RM11.70

Other miscellaneous expenses

Like all humans, the urge to splurge on stuff was too tempting for our writer. Here is a list of miscellaneous expenses that she spent on within the week.

  • Carpark charges: RM48.00
  • New Lipgloss: RM12.00
  • Snacks: RM5.80

Total Cost: RM65.8

In the end, our writer was only left with a savings of RM52.25 after having spent a total of RM210.25 for her daily expenses. 


However, it’s important to take note that the total of expenses does not include necessities like dinner and medical expenses.

Not to mention that our writer lives with her parents, therefore, she doesn’t incur additional costs such as rental and utility bills.

If that were the case, it is safe to say that she wouldn’t even have 10cents left by the end of the week. 

Hence, it is safe to conclude that while it is plausible for a person to live on RM1050 per month; it would be a life that would be lacking and full of hardship.

What do you think?