KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 21 — After Economy Minister Rafizi Ramli conceded recently that the nation may be “addicted” to the practice of eating out, more working-class Malaysians have spoken up to say that this is borne out of necessity.
On the r/Malaysia subreddit on the Reddit social aggregator, a majority of users who commented on Malay Mail’s article this morning about Malaysians who eat out raised the issue of time constraints such as long commute time and the existing conventional working hours as influencing their decision to dine out.
“I finish work at 6. Reach home around 7 ish. You expect me to cook when the makcik in front of my place sells nasi lemak with nasi lebih for only RM4.50?” user u/ExposeInfinity wrote.
“When food is near your commute route, might as well eat out rather than getting home tired, cook stuff then having to clean up,” another user, u/Paybackaiw said.
Others seemed to suggest that meal prep is a hassle and at times even considered a “luxury”.
“Eating at home is considered a luxury nowadays, as most of us are detained in traffic for up to 2 hours. Most family husband and wife are working-class people have been hustling all day; don’t expect them to have energy to cook at home, where your brain indicated to rest.
“If a family just needed a single source of income and was able to feed the family, their partner would have time for housework and cooking. (This become a luxury). I believe most of us realized that TIME IS GOLD. (The only currency not able to earn).
“In other words, no sane person would accept a million dollars now if the caveat was that you could only live for 24 hours,” user u/djzeor said.
“tbh 10/10 I would eat out if healthier (and more affordable) option is available out there. prep + cook + cleaning after work is exhausting, especially after stupid OT.
“salute to my mom cuz she still manage to cook for a bunch after rushing home from work,” u/helloszeeeeee13 said.
Some users even pointed out that cooking at home for single working adults is not viable, noting that the cost and time consumed for meal prep outweighs sustainability.
“Cooking is viable if you have more than two person in the household.
“If you just cook for one, the ROI is on the negative side since we have to count in preparation, cooking and cleaning time and treated it as money.
“Nobody addicted at eating out. It’s a necessity not luxury. And most people, on daily basis, eat out at gerai not those high end restaurant,” u/malayskanzler said.
“None of the comment mentioned about the cleaning process required after cooking, some more Malaysia nowadays condominium all have open kitchen concept. Unless you are having a 4-5 person family otherwise, not really efficient to cook for your own meal. Plus, company nowadays expect you to work even you reach home like replying email and etc,” u/cucuyu said.
However, there are some users who advocate for meal prep — the practice of preparing the key elements of a dish before you plan to eat it.
“Not true. There are plenty of ways to cook for one that saves cost. One of the ways to do so is by cooking multiple portions of the same food and freezing / chilling them,” u/ sabahnibba said.
Earlier this week, Rafizi was quoted saying that while Malaysians may be addicted to eating out and spending a significant sum of their wage on it, they cannot be blamed for it.
Instead, he said “unintended consequences of policies of the past” and the structure of Malaysia’s economy and wages are to blame for Malaysians spending a higher proportion of their income on eating out and takeouts compared to fellow Asian country South Korea.
He also admitted that poor public transportation has contributed to the issue of Malaysian households subsisting on eating out and food delivery.