Han Chinese, Hakka in Malaysia





Largest Religion

Main Language


Introduction / History

Hakka speaking Chinese are the sixth largest Chinese dialect spoken among Chinese in Malaysia. Originally, the ethnic Hakka trace their ancestry to the early immigrants who came from the various provinces of Southeastern China. The early immigrants were from northern China. They had migrated to become sojourners in the southern provinces between the 4th and 18th centuries. Thus, they are called Hakka, Kechia, or Khek, which means "guest people" in Chinese. Although the Hakka dialect may contain elements from both Mandarin and Cantonese, it is a distinct language in its own right.

Hakka speaking Chinese are widely dispersed throughout Malaysia usually in more rural areas. Chinese speaking Hakka can be found in the states of Kedah, Negri Sembilan, Perak, Pahang, and Sabah.

What Are Their Lives Like?

The early Hakka settlers in the 18th and 19th century were gold-miners, tin-miners, and cash crop farmers. They were also proprietors of Chinese medicine shops and tailors. Today, with the rapid socio-economic changes in Malaysia, they work in a variety of professions. They are businessmen, lawyers, doctors, tour operators, and also factory workers.

The Hakka, a very distinct group of people, are regarded as very conservative, honest, hardworking, and independent.

A traditional Hakka family would include a husband and wife, their married sons with their wives and children, and daughters, if unmarried, all under one roof.

What Are Their Beliefs?

Most of Hakka community consider themselves Buddhists. But what they generally practice is the same Chinese religion of the other dialect groups. Their religion is actually a collection of ancient beliefs and rituals that incorporated elements of Buddhism, Confucianism, and Taoism passed down through generations. Most Hakka households have an icon of the warrior deity Guandi (a deity renowned for his loyalty, righteousness, courage, and sense of brotherhood) continuing a practice of the early immigrants, they often pray to Guandi for divine power to stay united.

Like the Chinese of other groups, the Hakka typically fear dying outside of their own homes. After all (they reason) how can their spirit be expected to find its way back to where it can be cared for? That's why you'll find very sick Hakka people checking out of the hospital and moving back home before they die. A small percentage of the Hakka are Christian.

What Are Their Needs?

Rapid socio-economic changes in Malaysia are driving many Hakka to live away from their communities. They want good education, higher wages, and a better lifestyle. These same socio-economic changes may also lead to changing recognition, or lack thereof.

Pray that resourceful and committed believers will be enablers to the Hakka in their search for a better life. At the same time, pray that the Hakka might see God's love in these enablers and that His love would flow back to their own communities.

Profile Source:   Southeast Asia Link - SEALINK   Copyrighted ©   Used with permission  

People Name General Han Chinese, Hakka (Hah-kah)
People Name in Country Han Chinese, Hakka
Population in Malaysia 1,731,000
World Population 43,196,000
Countries 22
Progress Scale 3.2
Least-Reached No
Indigenous Yes
Alternate Names Han Chinese, Hokka, Ke, Kechia, Kehia, Kejia, Kek, Khek, Majia, Totok, Xinmin
Affinity Bloc East Asian Peoples
People Cluster Chinese
People Name General Han Chinese, Hakka (Hah-kah)
Ethnic Code MSY42a
People ID 12054
Country Malaysia
Region Southeast Asia
Continent Asia
10/40 Window Yes
Persecution Rank 37  (Open Doors top 50 rank, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
Languages & Dialects on file:  1  (up to 20 largest shown)
Chinese, Hakka (1,731,000)
Languages & Dialects (speakers if known) - up to 20 shown
Chinese, Hakka 1,731,000
For Primary Language: Chinese, Hakka

Bible Translation Status  (Years)
Bible Portions Yes   (1860-1995)
New Testament Yes   (1883-1993)
Complete Bible Yes   (1916)
Audio Bible Online
Resource Format
Audio Bible teaching (GRN) Audio Recordings
Bible-in-Your-Language Text / Printed Matter
Bible: Chinese Union Version, Shangti Edition, Simplified Text / Printed Matter
Bible: Chinese Union Version, Shangti Edition, Simplified Text / Printed Matter
Bible: Chinese Union Version, Shen Edition, Simplified Text / Printed Matter
Bible: Chinese Union Version, Shen Edition, Simplified Text / Printed Matter
Bible: Revised Chinese Union Version, Traditional Text / Printed Matter
Bible: 新譯本(繁體字版) Text / Printed Matter
Four Spiritual Laws General
Jesus Film: view in Chinese, Hakka Film / Video
Online New Testament (FCBH) Audio Recordings
Online Scripture (Talking Bibles) Audio Recordings
Story of Jesus audio (Jesus Film Project) Audio Recordings
Primary Religion: Ethnic Religions

Major Religion Percent
26.00 %
Christianity  (Evangelical 8.00 %)
10.00 %
Ethnic Religions
37.00 %
0.00 %
2.00 %
25.00 %
Other / Small
0.00 %
0.00 %

Christian Segments Percent
0.0 %
52.0 %
0.0 %
Other Christian
0.0 %
28.0 %
Roman Catholic
20.0 %
Photo Source: Anonymous  
Map Source: Southeast Asia Link - SEALINK   Copyrighted ©   Used with permission
Profile Source: Southeast Asia Link - SEALINK   Copyrighted ©   Used with permission  
Data Sources: Data is compiled from various sources. Read more

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