Molbog in Malaysia

Main Language
Largest Religion
Progress Gauge

Introduction / History

The Molbog are found on Banggi Island in Sabah, Malaysia. The Banggi South Channel separates Banggi Island from the mainland of Sabah. The Molbog are sometimes called Balabak in Sabah, a name that describes their place of origin - Balabac Island, located at the southern tip of Palawan in the Philippines. The greater population of Molbog people still resides on Balabac Island. Balabac Island is visible from Damaran and Maliyu, the two Molbog villages on the west coast of Banggi Island. In terms of dialect and cultural practices, some have said the Molbog are somewhat related to the Tidung, an indigenous local group located on the northeast coast of Sabah.

What Are Their Lives Like?

The Molbog livelihood includes subsistence farming and fishing. They farm commercial coconut, tapioca, and fruit trees. Some people make their living by raising livestock and occasionally perform barter trading with the people on nearby islands of the Philippines and at market centers in Sabah.
The Molbog people highly value their relationships with relatives and friends through mutual sharing and giving. Intermarriage between the Tausug and the Molbog has influenced the Molbog toward Islam. Currently, Molbog young people are free to choose their own marriage partners as long as both share the same religion.

What Are Their Beliefs?

The majority of the Molbog people practice Islam. Islam for them is a way of life just as it is for all the Muslim groups. The Tausug traders in the past brought the Islamic faith that the Molbog people adopted as their own. They follow the Islamic prayers and celebrate the Islamic religious festivals such as Hari Raya Aidiladha (which marks the end of the period during which Muslims make the journey to Mecca to perform the haj and commemorates the willingness of the prophet Abraham to sacrifice his son Ishmael for Allah) and Hari Raya Aidilfitri (the end of fasting month).
Despite being strong followers of Islamic, their faith is also associated with many indigenous interpretations and practices. The Molbog have a reputation among the Bonggi of being pugai specialists where pugai means "to put a love charm/spell on someone."

What Are Their Needs?

The Molbog people need developing infrastructure such as modern sea transportation to help facilitate the selling of farm and fish products to neighboring places and markets. Those living in villages typically don't earn enough income for medical and educational supplies. Illnesses such as malaria are a concern to the people. Pray that God will meet the Molbog people's needs through believers who are able to provide the skills and resources that they need. Pray that these acts will demonstrate the love of God.

Prayer Points

Pray for the Molbog people to have such spiritual hunger that they will seek and find Jesus Christ no matter what the cost.
Pray for their elders to have dreams and visions of the victorious Christ.
Pray for Molbog disciples to disciple others in the ways of Jesus.

Scripture Prayers for the Molbog in Malaysia.


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Profile Source:   Joshua Project  

People Name General Molbog
People Name in Country Molbog
Alternate Names Molbog Palawan; Molebugan
Population this Country 2,800
Population all Countries 29,000
Total Countries 2
Indigenous No
Progress Scale 1
Unreached Yes
Frontier People Group Yes
GSEC 1  (per
Pioneer Workers Needed 1
People ID 13774
ROP3 Code 106729
ROP25 Code 305558
ROP25 Name Molbog
Country Malaysia
Region Asia, Southeast
Continent Asia
10/40 Window Yes
Persecution Rank 49  (Open Doors top 50 rank, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
Location in Country Sabah: Kudat district, Banggi and Balambangan islands.   Source:  Ethnologue 2016
Country Malaysia
Region Asia, Southeast
Continent Asia
10/40 Window Yes
Persecution Rank 49  (Open Doors top 50 rank, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
Location in Country Sabah: Kudat district, Banggi and Balambangan islands..   Source:  Ethnologue 2016
Primary Religion: Islam
Major Religion Percent
0.00 %
Christianity  (Evangelical 0.00 %)
0.00 %
Ethnic Religions
0.00 %
0.00 %
100.00 %
0.00 %
Other / Small
0.00 %
0.00 %
Primary Language Molbog (2,800 speakers)
Language Code pwm   Ethnologue Listing
Language Written Yes   ScriptSource Listing
Total Languages 1
Primary Language Molbog (2,800 speakers)
Language Code pwm   Ethnologue Listing
Total Languages 1
People Groups Speaking Molbog

Primary Language:  Molbog

Bible Translation Status  (Years)
Bible-Portions Yes  (1977)
Bible-New Testament Yes  (2012)
Bible-Complete No
FCBH NT ( Online
Possible Print Bibles
World Bibles
Forum Bible Agencies
National Bible Societies
World Bible Finder
Virtual Storehouse
Resource Type Resource Name Source
Audio Recordings Audio Bible teaching Global Recordings Network
Audio Recordings Story of Jesus audio Jesus Film Project
Film / Video Jesus Film: view in Molbog Jesus Film Project
General Faith Comes By Hearing - Bible in text or audio or video Faith Comes by Hearing
General Scripture Earth Gospel resources links Scripture Earth
Text / Printed Matter Literacy primer for Molbog Literacy & Evangelism International
Photo Source Anonymous 
Map Source Joshua Project / Global Mapping International  
Profile Source Joshua Project 
Data Sources Data is compiled from various sources. Learn more.

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