So, as you have heard, the minimum wage for the entire nation – yes, including Sabah and Sarawak – has been increased to RM1050.
The announcement was made on Wednesday, the 5th of September.
Cabinet approves to raise minimum wage to RM1050 n standardize n applicable to all states effective from 1st January 2019. Government will not provide any form of subsidy.
— M. Kula Segaran (@mkula) September 5, 2018
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…
But only RM50 for peeps in the Peninsular.
The Malaysian reactions? Well, it was mixed, to say the least.
In short: RM1050 is a good start. Equalizing the minimum wage in East and West Malaysia is a big move.
And if Pakatan wants to get to RM1500, then they just have to do a 15% increase every 1.5 – 2 years.
— Sheikh Ya Boo Tea 🍵 (@TharmaPillai) September 7, 2018
While others keep complaining about RM1050 is not much difference compared to RM1000, did you people realise the words ALL STATES? Do you know the minimum wage in Sabah, Sarawak& Labuan is only RM920? Im grateful for the statement all states. https://t.co/erQ6W3CYRh
— Mel (@MelissaChoong) September 5, 2018
RM1050 in KL is just not feasible. What the fuck. https://t.co/C4gkFhrMbj
— not typical. (@JustinTWJ) September 6, 2018
RM1,050 is too low la.
— Syahredzan Johan (@syahredzan) September 6, 2018
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.
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.
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?