Malay in Singapore

Main Language
Largest Religion
Progress Gauge

Introduction / History

The Singapore Malay constitute fifteen percent of Singapore's multi-racial population. They are widely dispersed all over the country of Singapore. They immigrated centuries ago, mostly coming from Peninsular Malaysia and parts of the Indonesian archipelago such as Java and Sumatra. Despite being the first inhabitants of the country, they are not the largest group due to the arrival of Chinese and Indian immigrants in later years.

The Singapore Malay speak Bahasa Malaysia which is considered one of the major languages of Singapore.

What Are Their Lives Like?

More than half of Singapore Malay depend on employment in the public sector. There are few who are in high-level political or civil service positions and in the armed forces. Some are employed in foreign-owned factories. The Singapore government's drive to break up racial communities and resettle village dwellers in urban housing and apartment complexes had a great effect on the Malay and their ways of living. Evidence of the unification of Malay patterns of living with those of the rest of the population of Singapore shows the Malay birth and death rates are now declining, which originally was quite high. Malay women are working outside their homes more than ever before. Some women are marrying later, bearing fewer children, and divorcing less frequently.

The Malay despite being a minority in Singapore are a vital force in Singapore. Among the qualities of the Singapore Malay are their strong sense of community, their superb spicy cuisine, and their Islamic religious values.

The Singapore Malay culture is a combination of the culture of Malaysia and Indonesia. Intermarriage is allowed as long as both share the same religion. Most common intermarriages are between Malay and the Mamak.

In the past several decades, Singapore has experienced significant economic growth. Such economic growth and success has affected Singapore Malay. Families once held together with strong community ties are now experiencing troubled marriages and rebellious teenagers.

What Are Their Beliefs?

The Malay in Singapore are Sunni Muslims. Islam is the major influence in everyday life and is the medicine of the Malay society. The Malay are devoted to prayer and study the Qur'an (Islamic Book) and observe the Islamic festivals such as Hari Raya Aidiladha (pilgrimage performed by the Muslims to the holy city of Mecca), Hari Raya Aidilfitri (the end of fasting month), and Prophet Mohammad's birthday (Muslims began celebrating his birthday after his death to remind them of the Prophet's fight to spread and uphold Islam).

What Are Their Needs?

In recent years in Singapore many have had economic hardship but among the hardest hit have been the Malay people. The Singapore Malay have often been in the majority of those unemployed.

Pray that more believers would help their fellow Singaporean Malay who are struggling economically and find creative ways to bless them. Pray that the Good News could help mend some of the broken hearts and families of the Singapore Malay.

Prayer Points

* Scripture Prayers for the Malay in Singapore.

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

Additional Info
Global Prayer Digest: 2007-06-07
Global Prayer Digest: 2013-05-09
Malay profile for Children and Family Missions Activities
People Name General Malay
People Name in Country Malay
Pronunciation muh-LAY
Population this Country 549,000
Population all Countries 17,557,000
Total Countries 24
Indigenous Yes
Progress Scale 1
Unreached Yes
Frontier People Group No
GSEC 1  (per
Pioneer Workers Needed 11
Alternate Names Javar; Malao-Polynesian; Melaju; Melayu; माले
People ID 13437
ROP3 Code 106144
Country Singapore
Region Asia, Southeast
Continent Asia
10/40 Window No
National Bible Society Website
Persecution Rank Not ranked
Country Singapore
Region Asia, Southeast
Continent Asia
10/40 Window No
National Bible Society Website
Persecution Rank Not ranked
Primary Language Malay (549,000 speakers)
Language Code zlm   Ethnologue Listing
Language Written Yes   ScriptSource Listing
Total Languages 1
Primary Language Malay (549,000 speakers)
Language Code zlm   Ethnologue Listing
Total Languages 1
People Groups Speaking Malay

Primary Language:  Malay

Bible Translation Status  (Years)
Bible-Portions Yes  (1629-1932)
Bible-New Testament Yes  (1668-1974)
Bible-Complete Yes  (1733-2016)
Bible-NT Audio Online
Possible Print Bibles
World Bibles
Forum Bible Agencies
National Bible Societies
World Bible Finder
Virtual Storehouse
Resource Type Resource Name
Audio Recordings Audio Bible teaching (GRN)
Audio Recordings Father's Love Letter
Audio Recordings Online New Testament (FCBH)
Audio Recordings Story of Jesus audio (Jesus Film Project)
Film / Video Video / Animation
Film / Video Jesus Film: view in Malay
Film / Video My Last Day (Jesus Film Project Anime)
Film / Video Story of Jesus for Children (JF Project)
General Four Spiritual Laws
General Got Questions Ministry
Mobile App Download audio Bible app as APK file from FCBH
Mobile App Download audio Bible app from Google Play Store
Text / Printed Matter Download scripture in this language
Text / Printed Matter Jesus Messiah comic book
Text / Printed Matter Online Bible text (Scripture Earth)
Text / Printed Matter Online Bible text (Scripture Earth)
Text / Printed Matter World Missionary Press Booklets
Primary Religion: Islam
Major Religion Percent
7.00 %
Christianity  (Evangelical 0.20 %)
0.60 %
Ethnic Religions
14.00 %
6.00 %
71.40 %
1.00 %
Other / Small
0.00 %
0.00 %
Christian Segments Percent
10.0 %
8.0 %
0.0 %
Other Christian
16.0 %
34.0 %
Roman Catholic
32.0 %
Photo Source Copyrighted © 2021  Faiz Zaki - Shutterstock  All rights reserved.  Used with permission
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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