Menu Rahmah praised, but many hope govt will still lower prices of goods

Since the government’s launch of Menu Rahmah on Tuesday, it’s all praises for the cheap meal programme catering to the hardcore poor group which is priced at RM5 per meal.

Observations by Malaysiakini at Mydin in Subang Jaya, Selangor found that customers were satisfied with the price and types of meals offered.

Among them were chicken rice, nasi paprik, roti john, fried kuey teow, rojak and mee rebus, each priced at not more than RM5.

However, customers Malaysiakini spoke to said they still hope for the government to lower the prices of goods and services.


For one customer who only wished to be known as Fendi, Menu Rahmah’s offering is far better than what he was able to buy when he was a student, namely nasi bujang.

“For the price of RM5, the portion that is given is good. If you want to compare it to the time when I was still a student and I’d eat nasi bujang, it was only rice, a fried egg and soup.

“But this (Menu Rahmah) is very good. People would say that it is worth the price,” the 37-year-old said.

Nasi bujang has always been associated with those who have just started working or students with financial constraints.

Although the cheap meal programme aimed to reduce people’s burden, Fendi said it would still cost a lot if an entire household was to dine out.

“It doesn’t quite reduce the burden of the people because RM5 is used on only one meal. We eat at least two to three times a day, and what more with children.

“Say, there are four people in one household, it’s RM20. For RM20, if we buy rice and other dishes, we can eat for two to three days.

“This Menu Rahmah does help the people, but for me, it would be best if the government can reduce the cost of goods.”

However, Fendi understood that it would be impossible for the government to lower the prices of goods in the near future.

A customer who only wishes to be known as Fendi

“It’s not every day that people can eat out. So, as long as the economy is uncertain, it would be good that this (Menu Rahmah) be continued and if the government can reduce the cost of raw materials, even better.

“It’s just that if you want to suddenly drop the prices of goods, it won’t be possible either, because it’s a new government. Give them a chance,” he added.

Helpful for students

With today’s economic situation and relatively high tuition fees, the 21-year-old said it had forced students to save money.

“The price of food is really cheap and very helpful for students like us.

“As usual, we allocate RM15 to RM20 for lunch but with this programme, we can save a lot.

“The food quantity is enough to make us full. It is delicious and there is not much difference in terms of the taste and the prices that have been offered before,” the student added.

Student Azmishah Saiful Bahri

Azmishah also hopes for Menu Rahmah to be continued, especially for students in the city.

Industrial sector worker Ruzitah Hamid, 29, also welcomed the introduction of the programme, saying it’s beneficial for those who have to work over 12 hours.

“Usually, for those of us who work full time, we will have two breaks – morning and evening.

“So, with this programme, it can help us to save more. With a budget of RM5, we can have many food options.

“Usually, we eat once a day and our cost would be RM15 for both food and drinks. If we take two meal breaks, we would spend about RM30,” she said.

“So, with this menu, it really saves money and it’s beneficial to all employees,” Ruzitah added.

The same sentiment was shared by Ruzitah’s colleague known as Suriander.


The 21-year-old, who previously spent more than RM10 per meal, can now enjoy the same dishes for only RM5.

“For me, it’s good because usually, the price of food here is quite expensive and we would usually spend about RM10. But now, we can get it (a meal) for RM5.

“It helps a lot, and we can save money as well and should be continued,” he said.

Two best friends – Raziah Derani, 52, and Zabinah Kudang, 59, – also refused to pass up on the opportunity to purchase food under the programme.

Raziah, who works in Sri Petaling, said the initiative could help people save money.

“The menu is affordable. People say that there’s not much difference as well, so we’re satisfied,” she said, with Zabinah concurring.

Boosting sales

The programme was also well received by traders.

Despite the constant increase in prices of goods, traders met by Malaysiakini are of the opinion that this initiative could help boost their sales.

In fact, trader Zabedah Shaikh Othman, 43, said she’s satisfied with the overwhelming sales she received.

Trader Zabedah Shaikh Othman

“As a trader, I think that Menu Rahmah is indeed encouraging and well-received because even those who are poor can afford it.

“Traders are also happy because it’s an attraction for customers.

“Like me, the menu I offer is mee rebus and chicken noodle soup, and so far it has been well received.

“Although the prices of goods have skyrocketed – eggs are hard to get – but they can help us to some extent,” she added.

As for profit, Zabedah is confident that it will be profitable and if there’s a loss, she considers it as charity.

“The original price of the menu I prepared was RM8.90 but now, I sell it for RM5 for the same portion, everything tastes the same… (on profit or loss) I consider it as charity.

“What is certain is that sales have gone up. When I sell it at this price, more customers come to buy,” she said, adding that she also hopes for the programme to be continued.

Rosmiah Ramin, 55, and Yahya, 18, said they are still able to make a profit from the sales of the dishes on the menu.

“Menu Rahmah is okay because the price of normal food is about RM10 and with this menu, we offer it at RM5. It’s just that we offer it in a smaller portion than normal.

“That’s what makes people want to purchase. It’s not too pricey and it’s not too much for the customers to spend.

“We can still profit from Menu Rahmah and customers also have more options to buy smaller portions at a cheaper price,” Yahya said.

Domestic Trade and Cost of Living Minister Salahuddin Ayub during the launch of Menu Rahmah at Mydin on Tuesday

The Domestic Trade and Cost of Living Minister Salahuddin Ayub said the initiative involved more than 15,000 eateries nationwide.

While noting the government so far has no plan to provide subsidies to reduce the burden on the operators of these eateries, Salahuddin said the government may come up with incentives for those involved in the Menu Rahmah.

The Menu Rahmah is not a strange concept to the people, particularly for those who enjoyed the affordable menu under the Najib Abdul Razak administration, during which Menu Rakyat 1Malaysia (MR1M) was offered at an affordable price of RM4 in July 2011.