Is there a clear definition for the Malay term ‘pandai-pandai’ in English?

Whenever I try to raise an issue to my superiors, some folks at my work place often tell me not to ‘pandai-pandai’ and I should keep my work ‘sempoi’ (I still don’t understand this ‘word’!!!).


Kiki Lala… yes, of course 🙂 Thanks…

Kiki Lala… yes, of course 🙂 Thanks…

11 Answers

  • Anonymous
    1 month ago

    lol maybe it’s just a crooked way of saying “simple”.

    as for pandai-pandai, sounds like a threat, asking you not to be busy body (of course i know what it means) lol…

    well thats the mentality we have in workplace… janagn sibuklah. stick to your own duty and say yes to whatever your superior says. you know… that dont ya

  • Anonymous
    1 month ago

    Depending on the situation it varies, when Malay say

    “jangan pandai-pandai/memandai” either it means don’t be such a smart alec or it can also mean “bawak bertenang” be cautious of your condition & the situation before bring up the issue.

    At work, I keep to my principles.

    Speak in professional way. If there’s issues bring it up when it’s right & try to incorporate your “art of negotiation”, hey it ain’t easy. But it’s better to keep the issues swept under the carpet & stay in ignorance mode. Then when the mountain of dirt appear things turned chaos, well by then at least I can say I did my duty & did bring up the issue.

    Most times people can’t be bother with the issues UNLESS, several solutions are ALSO provided along. But be prepared on some that would like to ride your tail to gain credits for it.

    Typical Malaysians don’t dare to bring up issues nor voice up themselves – either it’s lack of self confidence or they just want to lay low & be safe & forever live in shadows. Yet as time goes on, regret for no living up to their dreams. It’s pretty common even in schools or work places nowadays, so fearful to question & give suggestions during meetings or presentations.

    If you believe you’re right.

    Do it.

    Don’t go around questioning & be doubtful.

    If you should question & seek opinions, ask those who are successful & wise. Else your brain’s gonna be fill wth all the firefires of doubts.

  • anonymously-unknown
    1 month ago

    when they say..’jangan pandai-pandai’ it usually means dont meddle in the certain issue.

    for example:

    jangan pandai-pandai campur tangan dalam hal tu

    means: dont get involved in that issue.

    the term is informal. pandai only means smart.

    sempoi on the other hand means laidback or simple.

    if they tell you to keep your work sempoi i’m guessing theyre telling you to kickback and keep everything incomplex.

  • Anonymous
    1 month ago

    it means don’t be a busy body or be a smart a s s

    they don’t want a confrontation or any kind of problems with the superiors

    we are people that don’t like drama and confrontation and we try to stay away from it if as much as possible (that’s a generalization there,i know)

  • Anonymous
    5 days ago

    – Ketumbit = Lump, Stye – Kudung = Amputated, Maimed – Busut = Ant-hill – Kurap = Ringworm – Berlunjur = Stretching out – Sumbing = Harelip

  • Puan Sri kiki. lala
    1 month ago

    may i know, since when u stay/live in malaysia?

    nway..pandai2 is dont act clever la..dont just abruptly make decision before think/nego and consult wif the rest [in ur term,ur boss or collegues la..]

    oh u understand the word ‘la’ we use here? ehehehe

  • Mr. Bobo
    1 month ago

    It means act without any knowledge on how to make or to do things you want to do.

  • Â¥op
    1 month ago

    means play smart or play hero

  • Robert King
    1 month ago

    It means , don’t try to be the clever one.

  • leo
    1 month ago

    means “suka hati awak le”

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