Update 30 April 2013
Malaysia’s 13th general election has propelled the phrase’s popularity through the roof. It has been adopted by the opposition, not just Star, but also Pakatan Rakyat and SAPP. Everybody is saying it, including people in the peninsula during matters seemingly unrelated to politics. The opposition leader uses the popular #IniKaliLah hashtag in twitter, and his twitter account’s background prominently shows the phrase. There’s at least one youtube video showing students in a foreign country saying it.
This is surely the most popular Malay-as-it-is-spoken-in-Sabah phrase of all time.
3 September 2012
For sure, the phrase has been around since time immemorial, but probably the latest spike in popular use of the phrase started sometime in 2010.
The first recorded mention of the phrase in the popular SabahRhinos forum (Sabah football team fan club) was on 1st October 2004, when user T_Rex1301 posted:
Bahhh nanti , jumpa Man Utd lagi . Itu hari man utd kasi chan bah itu .. ini kali lah semua 1st 11 ada , jumpa lah kamu.
Then, about 2 weeks later in the same forum, user Championship Manager posted on 13th October 2004:
Jangan risau….INI KALI…LAH…sabah manag final.
INI KALI LAH…Sabah vs P?
INI KALI LAH….Sabah (3) vs P?(0).
INI KALI LAH….Team SABAH..Cam ni…. :jumpy: …… :-D … :pint: ..AramaiTieee
In SabahForum, another popular Sabah-run online forum, the phrase was first mentioned on 8th May 2010 by one “orangaslisabah”.
Enter the Sabah chapter of Sarawak Reform Party (STAR), which was launched in Penampang on 7th January 2012. They adopted the phrase, making its popularity skyrocket.
Compelling evidence that the phrase has entered general consciousness was underlined by the Harrington Gaso episode during the 2012 Sabah International Folklore Festival (SIFF) at Sabah Cultural Centre on 14th July 2012.
As expected, there have been quite a few new songs with this phrase as their titles, some of which are indeed worthy of being played loud through Behringer Amplifiers at musicians friend.