side income malaysia
Earning Money

Side Income Malaysia: 15 Business & Part-Time Ideas to Try Now

So. I want you to earn more money. $$$

I get it. The economy sucks, ringgit price sucks, yada yada.

There’s nothing you can do about the sucky bits, so why complain? Complaining is boring. In the spirit of self-determination, in the spirit of ‘you are the master of your own destiny’, I want to invite you to the beautiful world of supply and demand. If done right, this can make you a lot of money.

How does it work? How will it make you money? It’s exactly four steps.

  1. Identify an area where there is a lot of demand
  2. Make sure there are no/very few competitors
  3. Sell the product/service
  4. Profit $$$  like this dude

Example of a business based on supply and demand

When I was in Standard 2, I sold mini chewing gums to my classmates. The demand was novelty sweets. The supply was foreign sweets I received as presents from someone, and not available in Malaysia.

With a little marketing and ‘free samples’, you bet I filled up my baju kurung pocket with coins real fast. I sold out in one day. My pocket money at the time was 50 cent per day, and I made around RM5 – a lot of money at that time/age!

This is an innocent example, but the principle applies. Many people who want to earn side income in Malaysia would first decide on a product/service to offer, then join an over-saturated, competitive marketplace. How to price your product/services higher if like that?

In this article, I’ve brainstormed and compiled some business ideas that *I think* might do well in Malaysia. To my knowledge, these businesses are not competitive yet, so if you have the skillsets for it, go ahead and do it. I really hope it can generate you good income.

What’s my share? Drop me a little prayer, regardless of your religion – mom’s a teacher, and she said that knowledge passed on is good for the afterlife. I need me some pahala points haha.

“Pahala points”

 Side Income Ideas to Try Out in Malaysia

P/s – I call them side income here, but they can also be part-time jobs or full business ideas.

  1. AirBnB property managers. A lot of Malaysians rent out their properties on AirBnB. Why not start a business to offer services to them? You can offer an all-in-one package for a fee: manage bookings, welcome guests, help out guests if there are problems, clean the property for the next guests, etc.
  2. Internet tutor for adults. Help adults (and by adults here I really mean technologically-challenged people) make email accounts, create social media accounts, open blogs/Tumblr/websites, suggest best websites to visit, etc. I think many elderly people would really enjoy getting this lesson from patient youngsters.
  3. Copywriting for Instagram shops. There is a LOT of Instagram shops (just check the #sayajual hashtag). I bet someone can make a living from offering copywriting services to these shops, so they can improve their business.
  4. Collect and sell recyclables. This might work well for apartments/flats/condominiums because you can get a lot in one shot. Get permission to install recycling bins, then promote recycling via flyers etc. Collect and sell them. Aside from the usual recyclables, you can also collect other ‘junk’ – IT junk, home knick-knacks – and recycle/sell those online.
  5. Be agent/reseller for products/services that can save money. A lot of people are buying smarter in 2017, so the demand for these products/services should be higher. One great example – we need more (good quality) menstrual cup sellers in Malaysia!
  6. Malay translators/proofreaders. Please someone contact the movie industry and offer this service because our Malay subtitles for foreign movies suck.
  7. Spas/massages specifically for Grab drivers. Many people drive Grab for the extra income. Give ’em some love – design spa/massage packages to soothe tired shoulders and over-strained eyes.
  8. Earn commission from helping people sell their shit. Help people to sell their stuff on Mudah, Lelong, Carousell and other selling platforms. Offer pickups, photography, copywriting, listing, answer inquiries, arranging with buyers, and send deliveries. Heck, I want this service.
  9. Be a mover. Best results for those of you with trucks. Contact individual furniture sellers on Mudah, Lelong, Carousell and other selling platforms. Many of them, especially those selling bulky furniture will say ‘self-collect only’, which will usually reduce their buyer pool and takes time to sell. If they put ‘delivery can be arranged for a fee’ or ‘inclusive of delivery’, they can charge higher for the item and/or sell them faster. That’s where you come in.
  10. A website that people can put baju kurung/baju melayu measurements and you sew and deliver to them. They can send the fabric, or you can have some pre-selected fabric options. Related: offer on-demand alteration services at home/office.  Related: Service that can create the exact same copy of a well-loved but old piece of clothing.
  11. HALAL CHINESE FOOD. Do you have any IDEA how big the demand for halal Chinese food is in Malaysia??
  12. Chef/Baker specialising in Pinterest/Buzzfeed/YouTube recipes. Send them the link, ask them to make it. I mean, I’ve scrolled my Facebook a few times and saw the recipes and went, ‘yum’ but have no interest in making them myself. Related: Sell frozen cookie dough that people can buy so they can make freshly baked cookies in their homes.
  13. [Your kampung/suburb].com. Put in articles like ‘best place to eat in SS18’, ‘Plumbers in Sentul’, etc. Sell advertisement space on the website to the shops, offer coupons, upload local activities.
  14. Offer tours in your neighbourhood. Food tours. Graffiti tours. Temple tours. Local tourism is booming and it’s fun to explore Malaysian neighbourhoods! If we have more of these, even malls would be boring 🙂
  15. Offer KonMari services. Help people to declutter their shit. Great for natural organisers among you (you know who you are!). Even better if you can take and sell their decluttered stuff!

Bonus: Sell Money Stories book series with no upfront capital. More info here


While I had fun brainstorming, I have to admit that these ideas are mostly in my line of work (writing) and my personal interests (e-commerce, personal finance, organisation porn).

Therefore, the 15 ideas above are mere teasers, just to give you an idea of things that *may* have demand for them. I might be wrong, so take the ideas with a pinch of salt, or test them first. Also, self-employment is no picnic – here’s what I learned about self-employment, after doing it for about a year.

If you are not afraid of analysis paralysis, here are 1000 random business ideas to choose from. Don’t take too long to decide, though, because inaction won’t earn you anything. Most importantly, inaction also won’t make you learn anything.

To check some other side income ideas by Malaysians, check my RTs on Twitter (@surayaror). Do you have any other ideas for businesses, part-time jobs or side income ideas that have high demand nowadays? Please share in the comment section 🙂


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  1. “A website that people can put baju kurung/baju melayu measurements and you sew and deliver to them. They can send the fabric, or you can have some pre-selected fabric options. Related: offer on-demand alteration services at home/office. Related: Service that can create the exact same copy of a well-loved but old piece of clothing.”

    I’ve been thinking about the same idea before,back on those days when i was selling ‘kain pasang’ to my colleague…Think its time to give it a go. Also thinking about giving mobile service where the measurement can be taken anytime and anywhere.

    1. A service selling kain pasang (and its combos) would work too, I think! For example, sort by colour, style, event, etc.

      I imagine the measurement part must be really clear, because then you’ll end up with customers who accidentally measured wrong.

      Look forward to see your business Anep!

  2. Those are a very brialliant & practical idea in Malaysia. Couldn’t agree more the demand of Halal Chinese food ! because me my self love Chinese food & it is very hard to get it !

    1. I love Chinese food too! It’s hard not to, it’s so delicious. Can anyone reading this make halal Hokkien Mee please? I’ve always wanted to try!

      Thanks for stopping by Ora 🙂

  3. Hey Sue – go look for Old Town Halal Hokkian Mee in PJ state area – I heard its good – I Juz got back from your old haunt – Ipoh – had a blast at all the halal Chinese places you recommended – especially New Hollywood – didn’t like Vegas that much though. Hope you get to taste the Hokkian mee !

    1. There is halal hokkien mee?? Thanks for tip Mamabugz, I’ve always wanted to try 😀 Glad you enjoyed the Ipoh trip 🙂

  4. Not too bad for a Malaysian touch kind of a blog about types of part time income besides those available now were mostly from USA. Cool tips, keep it up.

    p/s: By the way, do you practice minimalism? I have just become aware of the concept of living as a minimalist.

    1. Thanks, am keeping it up

      I do try to incorporate minimalism into my life, yes. I think I’m alright with this, but definitely not on the extreme end.

  5. Hi, i got an idea to start e commerce business sth like tailor made curtain and blinds. Client can choose fabrics and key in their requIred sizes, and we will sew and deliver to them. We provide optional installation too. What do you all think ? Will it work ? Actually i am a soft furnishing specialist.

    1. Hey Jace, ‘

      I’m not from the industry, so I can’t comment much about how it’ll do.

      I will say, though, there is demand for ready-made curtains, the pinterest styles one. With nice pictures, I think it has potential definitely. This one, for example, is very pretty.

  6. #15 Omg! Wish I could hire someone like Sheldon Cooper from BigBangTheory to do this. It’ll be worth every penny.
    Btw, a very informative blog this is! Subcribing 🙂

    1. Hey Lili,
      No dice, you need someone with good social skills for that :p
      Thanks for stopping by and subscribing! That makes me happy 🙂

  7. Honestly a great idea about the frozen cookie dough! I bake alot and also have been looking for a way to earn some money. Will definitely attempt this. Thanks!!

  8. Malay translators/proofreaders.

    I’m very interested with this. Where to find it? My BM is really good since primary school. Got As in BM for UPSR, PMR and SPM haha

  9. Hi Suraya

    Try trading the forex market which require relatively small investment capital, and not much overheads & expenses. Trade as one would with the stock & bond market but only at a much faster pace. Treat the forex market like gambling and you will wipe out the trading account in no time.
    Like every investments, the key to success is to take the time to study, research, and understand what you are going to venture into before jumping in.

    There are just too many misconception from people who got “burned” by leaping in without checking or they have absolutely no idea what the forex market is all about in the first place and just heard what their friends/relatives have told them. That really pisses me off!

    Okay…that’s my two-bits on alternative investment ideas!

    Cheers & all the best!

    1. Hi Liew@ Rahman,

      I did dabble in forex. It’s not for me, and I find the practices commonly in the forex industry used exceptionally misleading.

  10. Knowing there’s demand for halal chinese food, why there aren’t many halal chinese restaurants or food stalls around? Just curious, is it difficult to get the halal certification especially if the business owner is a chinese?

    1. Hi Boon Tatt,

      That’s a good question. Need a f&b owner to answer. But I think, based on what little I know about the halal certification process, it’s quite mafan to do. Maybe another reason is pork or pork products is a non-negotiable aspect of the recipe too.

      Maybe there are other reasons. Inviting others to chime in

  11. Renting out rented properties by the hour for meetings, gathering, parties & film production shoot would be a great one too. Instead of renting out extra room for travellers (which most lower income groups don’t have), renting out living room, nap place, bbq spots by the hour will serve the group with one property & even rented properties.

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