If you’re wondering what Melayu Boleh is and why Melayu Boleh is so popular to a certain segment of the Malaysian online population, you’ve come to the right place.
In this article, I’ll list 3 things you should know about melayu boleh which will definitively answer your questions.
So turn off that drama melayu (malay drama) on faztvnetworks and read on.
1. The Meaning of Melayu Boleh
Melayu boleh is a phrase from Bahasa Melayu, a native language spoken by the Malays that form the majority of Malaysia’s population and a minority of Singapore’s population.
In English, “Melayu” means “Malays”, while “Boleh” means “can”. When these two English words are literally joined together, they form the phrase “Malays can”.
“Malays can” does not mean a Malay metal container as in a can of Coke, but its meaning goes deeper that that. “Malays can” means Malays “are able to do X” or “can do X”.
I once asked my awek melayu girlfriend, what does “Malays can” really mean. She said if anyone can do it, Malays can do it too, but better.
She summed it up nicely. Melayu boleh is basically a phrase to instill motivation and inspiration among the Malays.
2. The Origin of Melayu Boleh
The rise of melayu boleh to popularity, according to some unverified sources, can be traced to either one of three historical events. Bear in mind that these are just theories and should not be taken seriously.
The first theory suggests that melayu boleh has its origin from the the slogan “Malaysia Boleh” that was popular during Malaysia’s post-war independence years. Whether there was such a slogan to inspire the Malaysians, I can’t say for sure. So let’s leave this theory to the Malaysian historians among you to ponder and comment.
The second theory claims that the phrase originated from a sports drink TV commercial that was widely aired in the 80s. I still remember the commercial and I do recall that the commercial was peppered with the cries of “Boleh”. So, it’s not unreasonable to suggest that melayu boleh has its origin from this commercial. If someone has a video of this commercial, I’d love to see it again for old time sake.
The last theory which I think is the most interesting and rather shocking suggests that the phrase has its origin from a late 90s’s seks melayu site (adult site) that called itself Melayu Boleh. I can’t confirm if there was such a site or it’s just a myth as I’m not someone who surfs such site. My awek tudung will kill me if I do.
3. The Online Popularity of Melayu Boleh
The phrase “melayu boleh” is so popular that it gets thousands of Google searches every day. So are these searchers looking for daily motivation and inspiration in their daily life, or are they searching for something far less inspiring?
If you google the phrase melayu boleh now, you’d be surprised to find that the top 10 search engine result listing has nothing to do with motivation and inspiration. I won’t mention what the results are since you can see them for yourself. It’s shameful and shocking that such an inspiring Malay phrase has been debased to such level.
Perhaps the third theory is right – there was such an undesirable site in the late 90s. A site that has robbed the true meaning of melayu boleh. Sad, huh.
So these are the three things you should know about Melayu Boleh. Please leave a comment if you have any theories or findings about this phrase. While you do that my awek and I are off to watch some cerita melayu (Malay story) on TV.
Guest writer Farhan Salleh is an anak melayu boleh and former mat rempit who likes to read and write cerita panas (hot news). Also, Farhan and his awek cun love to take and post on youtube 3gp videos of their comel fat cat named si gadis melayu tudung, and would one day compile them into a home-made movie titled Melayu Boleh Video as a homage to this article.