Malay People: #3 Amazing Facts You Need To Learn Now!

What motivates you to study Malay? Is it the possibility of communicating with Malay people?

We all agree that the main reason we choose a specific language to study is so that we can communicate with native speakers of that language in a particular nation. You probably choose to study Malay because you’re fascinated by the Malay people and their culture. That being said, this is an excellent opportunity to learn more about the Malay language, culture, and history to acquire more relevant information and use it as motivation to keep studying Malay and not give up before completing the goals.

Let’s read up on the Malay people before you meet them in person; we’re confident that the stories below will convince you to stay with the language for good!


1. Origin Of Malay People

Based on Malay annals, the present-day Malays and Indonesian populations trace their ancestry back to the Proto-Malays. Long ago, they began to settle on what is now the Malay peninsula. Moreover, there was a second wave of migration consisting of Deutero-Malays. Therefore, it’s assumed that they have a common ancestor.

The Malay, also known as the Orang Melayu, are an Austronesian people that formerly inhabited eastern Sumatra, the Malay Peninsula, the coast of Borneo, and the smaller islands in between. These regions are now a part of modern-day Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, Brunei, and southern Thailand. This explains why the Malay people have always been characterized as a trading tribe whose culture has experienced significant changes along its coastal areas. As a result, they immersed, shared, and transferred many aspects of the culture of neighboring peoples.

Malay People


2. Malay Population

It’s interesting to learn more about the Malay people who live in many different nations as ethnic groups as we discuss how Malays have absorbed and transferred their ethnic culture across various places in the Southeast Asia region today.

Malaysian Malays

Out of Malaysia’s overall population of over 15 million, more than half identify as Malay. However, while the native Malay population is known as Anak Jati, the foreign Malay population is known as Anak Dagang. You might wonder what sets them apart, so allow us to elaborate.

Those who live along the Malay peninsula and Borneo coast are considered local Malays, as they are part of the Malay cultural tradition. On the other hand, the foreign Malays are people who settled in Malaysia after migrating from other islands in the Malay archipelago; they eventually adopted Malay traditions and beliefs and became citizens. Many foreign Malays trace their roots back to Indonesia.

Malays Indonesian

People of Malay ancestry may be found all around Indonesia. This is because they’re a native group to the land. Historically, the islands of Borneo and Sumatra, which are now part of Indonesia, were home to a great number of Malay kingdoms. Batin Malays, Bengkulu Malays, Berau Malays, Pontianak Malays, Riau Malays, Jambi Malays, Palembang Malays, Sambas Malays, Bangka-Belitung Malays, Asahan/Batu Bara Malays, Deli Asahan Malays, Langkat Malays, and Tamiang Malays are only a few of the Malay sub-ethnic groups in Indonesia.

Malay People

Bruneian Malays

The native Malay population of Brunei is known as Bruneian Malays. The Malay population in Brunei is a subgroup of the more significant Malay population in Peninsular Malaysia and the rest of the Malay World. Some historians claim that the ancestors of the Malay population of Brunei migrated from Yunnan and Taiwan via the Philippines and landed on coastal Borneo before migrating south into the Malay Peninsula, Thailand, Vietnam, and Cambodia.

Malay Singaporeans

In Singapore, the Malay population is considered an indigenous population. Therefore, Singaporeans of Malay ethnicity are officially acknowledged as indigenous people. Nearly one-fifth of Singapore’s population identifies as Malay, making them the second biggest ethnic group behind Chinese Singaporeans.

Thai Malays

Most of Thailand’s ethnic Malay population lives in the country’s southern regions, making it the third-largest Malay population after Malaysia and Indonesia.

Malay People


3. Malay Culture

Everything from languages to religion is part of the Malay cultural sphere. Additionally, you might learn about the population’s way of life by studying its cultural practices. So then, let’s spend some time learning about the Malay culture.

Their Language

Bahasa Melayu, also known as Malay, is an Austronesian language spoken formally in Indonesia, Brunei, Malaysia, and Singapore, and informally in some southern regions of Thailand. Over 200 million people throughout the world speak the Malay language, with more than 90 percent of those individuals living in Indonesia.

Their Religion

In light of Islam’s pervasive cultural impact, the majority of Malays are strongly influenced by Islam. Since they have a similar religion, various ceremonies have been held similarly among the Muslim community. However, they’re not only Muslims; Buddhism, Hinduism, and Christianity can all be practiced openly.



As you can see, studying Malay will absolutely be your advantage in the future since the Malay ethnic group is living in many regions, particularly in Southeast Asia. Moreover, meeting Malay individuals from different countries, such as Malaysian Malay, Indonesian Malay, Singaporean Malay, etc., is something you may look forward to. So you can imagine how many opportunities you have to practice your Malay with actual native speakers. The more chances you have to interact with native Malay speakers, the faster and more effectively you will learn the language. Even more, the rich cultural traditions of the Malay people await your exploration.

So, stay up with your Malay studies, and don’t forget to put together a trip to countries that speak Malay!


Learn Malay With The Ling App

Learn Malay with the Ling App

Want to travel to another country and experience varying cultures? Learning a new language is a must.

You can have more fun while you’re learning with the Ling App. At each stage, you’ll have access to the vast resources you need to become fluent in Malay and 60+ other languages. With a solid grasp of Malay, you’ll have no trouble connecting with natives in the country’s urban centers or rural areas. The adaptability of the Ling app allows you to quickly and easily learn a great deal of new vocabulary even while you’re on the road. You can use the chatbot and practice speaking with a native speaker as you learn new words.

Choosing your own study schedule and rhythm is the biggest perk of using the Ling app. Since you’re the one who decides how things go, you should not worry!

Are you ready to start now? So download the Ling App from the Google PlayStore and Apple AppStore now, and prepare to be fluent in Malay very soon!

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