The resort island Boracay is part of the municipality.
It was hit severely by typhoon Seniang on 9–10 December 2006, with much destruction and damage of homes and infrastructure.
The municipality of Malay was created in the province of Capiz on June 15, 1949, from the barrio of Malay and surrounding barrios which were then part of Buruanga. The new municipality then included the following barrios: Malay (poblacion, seat of local government), Dumlog, Cabulihan, Balusbos, Nabaoy, Cubay Norte, Cubay Sur, Cogon, Argao, Sambiray, Caticlan, Manocmanoc, Balabag, Yapak, Motag, Napaan and Naasog. On April 25, 1956, The municipality of Malay became a part of the newly created province of Aklan, along with several other municipalities.
According to, Resolution no. 066, series of 2010, Resolution creating an ADHOC Committee and Technical Working Group to conduct initial study and evaluation for the proposed cityhood of the Municipality of Malay, Aklan. (Approved SB, DTD. 11-30-10)
Malay has one airport, officially named Godofredo P. Ramos Airport but more popularly known as Caticlan Airport. Only small aircraft are allowed to land on the 810 m (2,660 ft) runway. Most airlines have also restricted weight allowance since the airplanes are small. Nearby Kalibo International Airport with its 2,300 m (7,500 ft) runway is able to accommodate larger aircraft.
Because of its robust tourism industry, the municipality is now considered as having the strongest economy in all the municipalities in the Region and the richest municipality of Aklan in terms of income and annual budget. The tourism industry of Boracay became the catalyst of its economic growth that brought many investors to come and helped transform the municipality into a cosmopolitan area.
In early 1990s, it was very unlikely that a shopping center will open in Malay. But with the boom of its tourism industry, shopping now became a component of its offering to the visitors and the locals. At the moment, d'Mall Boracay and the Crafts of Boracay are the only major shopping destination in Malay but with the entry of big investors, several shopping malls will soon rise in the town that will surely change the shopping experience in that it can offer. Newcoast Boracay Shopping District and Picar's AMA Caticlan Mall is now in the pipeline.