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Sabahan entreprenuer Boy Donny sells Nasi Lemak for RM1 proves anything is possible
Published on: Sunday, April 30, 2023
By: Jinni Juanis
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All packed and ready to go (left pic). Selling like hotcakes: Boy showing his RM1 nasi lemak (right pic). 'Have you ever wanted to buy food and only have RM1 in your pocket? What can you buy with RM1 now?' – Boy
A LOCAL selling Nasi Lemak for only RM1 per packet at a gas station in Donggongon had gone viral on social media.

This is good news for fans of this Malaysian favourite breakfast who want a cheap meal even though the portion is not that of a typical nasi lemak, which usually costs more than RM2.50 per packet.

The entrepreneur, Boy Donny, said life was particularly hard during the two-year Covid-19 pandemic, forcing many food sellers like him to use creativity to sell food to the poor.

“Our situation is getting much better now. Although it is in the endemic stage, its effects on the majority had left many people bearing the brunt. 

“Many from among the B40 group have yet to rise from its hardship pitfalls.

“From this observation, it per packet. The portion might be smaller, which is about the size of our palm, suddenly came to my mind why not sell Nasi Lemak at an affordable price of RM1 but at least it can ease our hunger,” he said when met while attending to his customers at the Shell station in Kivatu, recently.

Not surprisingly, the cheap meal sold at the Shell kiosk in Kampung Kivatu went viral on social media. 

Many people were excited about it due to its price. Fans of the simple dish can still enjoy the coconut milk glutinous rice with tasty sambal, fried anchovies, ground nuts, hard-boiled eggs and cucumber.

Normally, a packet of banana leaf-covered Nasi Lemak costs RM2.50. The price may be slightly higher if it is sold in a restaurant, sometimes more than RM20 if there is a side dish such as fried chicken, kurma beef, acar or extra sambal.

According to Boy, his Nasi Lemak does not include any side dish, hence the cheap price. 

“If I sell it with side dishes, the price will be certainly more expensive,” he said.

Many buyers are ready to admit that Boy’s Nasi Lemak may be cheap but it is certainly tasty. It is packed in a small transparent plastic packet (in place of the banana leaves) where buyers can see the contents comprising rice, sambal, anchovies, ground nuts, sliced eggs and raw cucumber.

Everything is neatly arranged. A spoon is also provided.

“On the first day I only made 30 packets. It was more of an experiment. But I didn’t expect that it would be bought off so quickly that some Facebook friends even asked where they could buy it.

“There were buyers who came later but, unfortunately, didn’t get to taste it because it was sold out. So, I told them to place their orders or come early to the gas station the next day to avoid going home disappointed,” he added.

Due to its small quantity, some customers said they could consume up to three or five packets in one sitting.

The following day, Boy made 50 packets and just like the previous day, they sold out like hotcakes. 

He later stepped up production to 100 packets where 50 packets were sold in the morning and another 50 in the afternoon. 

This does not include the number of orders that were delivered COD to the customer’s home.

Boy said he was only able to produce the maximum at the moment because he is the only one handling the preparation and cooking. His wife, a nurse, is only able to help him during her off days.

He said he picked the Shell station in Kivatu as his main Nasi Lemak point of supply because the owner was friendly to small traders like him and allowed them to trade there. 

It is also a convenient avenue where many people stop to fill up gas.

Looking at the positive response, Boy now plans to look for another place in Donggongon to sell his Nasi Lemak where there will be more customers.

On profits, Boy said while it is not that much, the amount was kept in a fund for his autistic son who is now in Form One.

“After two days in business, I was able to take my son for a haircut at the barber shop,” he said proudly.

He said some people asked him why his Nasi Lemak is only priced at RM1 per packet and not higher.

“I told them that I am acutely aware that there are still many out there who cannot afford even a cheap breakfast. 

“If you buy it at a regular stall or restaurant, the cheapest Nasi Lemak rice is RM2.50 per packet. 

“Even a packet of fried noodles is RM2 and top it up with a fried chicken wing, the price is RM3.50.

“Have you ever wanted to buy food and only have RM1 in your pocket? What can you buy with RM1 now? So, if there is a packet of Nasi Lemak at RM1, they will be happy because they can at least have something to eat in the morning,” he said.

So, does this respond to the call of the concept of Rahmah food? Boy added: “Yes, and the Prime Minister’s suggestion is very good.”

Boy added that cooking Nasi Lemak for RM1 is a challenge. Everything is prepared in small portion but that one packet goes a long way to relieve a hunger pang.

Boy wakes up as early as 3am to start cooking sambal, rice, beans and anchovies. After that he will peel the boiled eggs that he boiled earlier.

“At about 8am I will deliver these at the Shell station and the homes of those who made early reservations,” he said.


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