A Local Take on Why We Love Being Malaysians
A Local Take on Why We Love Being Malaysians

A Local Take on Why We Love Being Malaysians

by Passionation, Aug 13th, 2018

This year, after GE14, National Day would be extra meaningful to many devoted Malaysians that voted for a change. Commemorating a great wave in Malaysian history, let’s not forget why our multicultural society is so unique and special, that only Malaysians can identify these experiences with one another. Here are a few humorous takes on things that define us as Malaysians:


1. Anytime is tea time

We love to ‘minum teh’ or ýum cha’ but that doesn’t necessarily mean teatime. It’s simply a phrase to indicate hanging out at mamaks, eateries or anyplace even when we’re not drinking anything.

2. Anybody can be the ‘boss’ or ‘lou sai’

Where can you find a place where everyone is the boss? In Malaysia, people ranging from all walks of life including a salesman, waiter or mamak server (not just the business owner) can be called ‘boss’ or (in Cantonese) ‘lou sai’.

3. There must be a free gift when we buy something (or even when we don’t buy anything)

Being natural at haggling prices on top of hefty discounts, we will only be appeased when we finally get a free gift out of the bargain or just to fill up a survey form.

4.  We enjoy deciding where to eat

Being inundated with an abundance of food, options are endless and available around the clock. Clearly, this has led us to an endless cycle of the age-old question – where to eat?

5. We are always ‘on the way’

Keeping to our appointment time is always a challenge, so we do what every Malaysian does. When asked where we are, even when we’re still dressing up at home, we’re ‘on the way’.

6. We instantly become ‘lenglui’’or ‘lengchai’ when people want to sell their products

If you want an ego boost or a swamp of compliments, just take a stroll down the aisle containing salesmen and promoters to feel good being called (in Cantonese) ‘lenglui’ (beautiful girl) or ‘lengchai’ (handsome boy).

7. We love durians in every way

Although a minority of Malaysians detest the pungent repelling fruit, it is the king of fruits in most of our hearts and we love it served in every imaginable way - as a spicy dip (tempoyak) with curry, rice, bread or flavoured into ice-creams and desserts.

8. Anywhere is a parking bay if your car fits

We take pride at being geniuses finding parking spots that don’t obstruct nor illegal enough to get a ‘saman’. No parking bay? A space on the divider or on top of a corner curb will do.

9. Stopping traffic with the ‘divine hand’

That’s right, to get to the other side of the road, walk out and just raise your palm facing the oncoming traffic and watch vehicles halt around you. The ‘divine hand’ is a handy life-saver on Malaysian roads.

10. Our road signs don’t always lead us to our destination

We seemingly have proper road signs but we have learned not to rely on it as we could end up in a different place entirely. Instead, we are now Waze warriors.

11. During elections, we turn into political experts

Everyone suddenly becomes an expert in Malaysian politics during election time, where we contain a wealth of knowledge on all contenders including their clean or dirty laundries. Post-election period, we revert back to our non-analytical beings in a wink of an eye.

12. We wait for a 50% discount to pay our ‘saman’

It’s an annual thing that all Malaysians are aware of, so we will hold on to our speeding tickets for that discount announcement!

13. We are ‘kiasu’ and we won’t lose out

Malaysians generally are afraid to lose out on, well… anything. If we find out that we are short on cooking oil, the very next day, we will ‘sapu’ (sweep) all the oil from the shelves. If our friends are going to a Dua Lipa concert, we will ‘ponteng’ (skip) class to go with them.

14. The emergency lane is an extra ‘jalan’ 

We probably spend half our lives stuck in traffic, so, while everyone typically crawls through the jam, there are some true Malaysians zipping by on the clear emergency lane.

15.  We love our ‘pasar malams’

As children, we’re already introduced to the ‘pasar malam’, so, when we need our weekly dose of pancakes, fried radish cakes, steamed chick peas and knick-knacks, we gotta pay our favourite night markets a visit.


There’s more than just those mentioned above that makes us truly Malaysians. Check out why The Battle for Malaysia Was A Victory for Its People! 

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