Lesson 25 Mengapa? (Why?)
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A second reading (by Muhammad Nor Ismat, a native speaker)
You will notice that although "you" and "I" have to be specified in English in the above examples they are more commonly left out in Malay.
Putting the above question-and-answer form in a sentence would produce the following:
Saya tidak datang kerana sakit.
Saya datang lambat kerana hujan.
Saya sedih kerana sudah hilang pasport saya.
Another word that is used as much as kerana is sebab.
Thus to the question Mengapa datang lambat? the answer could just as well be Sebab hujan.
Okay, if mengapa means "why", what does tidak mengapa mean? It is just an expression that means "It doesn't matter", "It's all right" or "Forget about it". It's the same as tidak apa.