Chinese New Year is coming around the corner and if you’re still working right up until Friday, chances are that you’re wondering how you’re going to accomplish shopping, cleaning, transacting money for angpao, minor car servicing if you’re driving back to your kampung, and more within these next few days.
Well, here’s the good news, we’ve got modern solutions to modern problems, and these come in the form of our Malaysian startups who’ve been offering these products and services all-year-round.
With that in mind, here are 6 ways that you can both get stuff done and support our local startup ecosystem too.
1. Using E-Wallets To Give Angpao
Most of us probably depend on free (empty) angpao packets as gifts from banks or merchants after a purchase, but sometimes you might just want to do away with the physical packets completely (save the earth and all that too).
The solution then? Send out angpao to your loved ones this year through e-wallets—it’s fast and easy and you’ll never forget who each angpao is meant for again.
It’s also more of a surprise when they open up their own e-wallet and see some fresh cash from you, something which you can’t do with a physical red packet.
The only e-wallet that’s explicitly encouraging users to send digital angpao this year is Touch ‘n Go eWallet, but that doesn’t mean you can’t use Boost or GrabPay either.
2. Buying Your (Healthy) CNY Snacks From Smaller Players
Contrary to popular belief, Eu Yan Sang (AKA one of the big boys) isn’t the only place where you can buy healthy snacks like dried fruits and nuts for grandpa, grandma, and guests.
We now have alternatives, if you’re interested in supporting our SMEs and entrepreneurs.
One example would be Signature Market, who’s been supplying Malaysians with organic snacks since 2014. They also have a dedicated gift and hampers section full of curated snacks, perfect for CNY.
Within the healthy snacks sphere, we have Amazin’ Graze too.
Another startup you can consider could be Project B, who launched in 2015 to provide Malaysians with transparency when it comes to functional food development.
As opposed to the sugary bird’s nest drinks that people love gifting others, Project B has a 100% bird nest extract that’s unflavoured and unsweetened, for example.
3. Getting Your House Spick And Span
It may be the year of the rat, but I’m sure that these little critters are still one of the top pests you’d never want to see around your home (unless you’re keeping them as pets, of course).
If you look to Kaodim, you’d be able to find various pest control services that are also rated by the community. These come at a fixed price, are covered by Kaodim’s guarantee, and you’ll only pay after the job is done via KaodimPay.
For tidying up your house, you can look no further than MaidEasy, an on-demand provider for cleaners. Their cleaners are 100% local, the starting price is RM100 for the first 4 hours, and you can easily book a cleaner via their app.
4. Preparing For Your Balik Kampung Drive
If you’re going to do some long-distance driving, you probably should get your car checked out if you haven’t yet.
But perhaps you don’t have time to send your car to a workshop or mechanic due to the combo of work and traffic.
Here’s where startups like SERV, CarBengkel, Carpit, CARPUT and Pomen come in, who all either bring the servicing to you or can pickup your vehicle and send it to the workshops, or do both. (To learn what each of them offers, you can read our listicle here.)
Once your car is all freshened up, you can sit back, relax, and drive safe.
5. Flowers For Lively CNY Décor
I don’t know about you, but back home, my mother makes it a yearly tradition to buy several bouquets of flowers for her own home and my grandparents’ home during CNY.
Not only are they nice to look at, but they also imbue the air with the fresh scent of lovely flowers that complement the aroma of the oranges we put out.
Rather than Googling a random flower shop near you at the last minute, why not just take out your phone and plan for it with online flower delivery services?
2 relevant startups you may have heard of before would be BloomThis and Happy Bunch, but there are actually a bunch (heh, geddit?) more with good user ratings too that you can find in our convenient listicle here.
6. Giving Away Your Leftover Food For Good
If you’re planning on throwing a CNY party or dinner, you’ve probably ordered catering or will cook up food in bulk.
Whatever it is, you’re probably expecting some degree of food waste by the end of the gathering. Some of us might just keep these leftovers for ourselves, but others may not.
For those of you who don’t plan on keeping the leftovers but don’t want to outright throw them away, you can consider using What A Waste (WaW), a social enterprise of the same name that collects food surplus and passes them on to the needy.
Most other organisations only handle food surplus from F&B vendors, but WaW collects food surplus from the top of the food chain down to individual households before passing them on to needy families.
- You can read more about other Malaysian startups we’ve written on here.
Featured Image Credit: BloomThis / Amazin’ Graze