The objective of this paper is to clarify characteristics of negative polarity items (NPIs) in the Malay language, by using the manner of Japanese NPIs for judgement. For the purpose of identifying words and phrases showing polarity in sentences, I have made use of the works on ‘words category' by Nik Safiah (1995). NPI's presence and dominance in the Malay language are examined by applying Yamada's (1997) theories on the presence of NPIs in the various languages including Japanese. In the process of examination, I have discovered that there are some semantic similarities of these NPI's words and phrases patterns in Japanese and Malay languages. However the use of these NPIs is applied differently in sentence in each language structure. My findings in this study confirmed the characteristics of NPIs in the Malay language in the various areas such as ‘langsung', ‘hanya', ‘sama sekali', and ‘jarang' as functional words; a single numerical emphasis with ‘pun'; plummeting words with ‘pun'; duplication of interrogative words such as ‘apa' and ‘siapa'; strengthening word ‘paling' with negative words ‘tidak' and ‘kurang'; and words implying negative such as ‘mustahil' and ‘mana boleh'. Why and how they exist, including their influence and dominance are also illustrated in this analysis.