Home      Discussion      Topics      Dictionary      Almanac
Signup       Login
Malaysian Chinese

Malaysian Chinese

Discussion
Ask a question about 'Malaysian Chinese'
Start a new discussion about 'Malaysian Chinese'
Answer questions from other users
Full Discussion Forum
 
Encyclopedia
Malaysian Chinese is a Malaysian of Chinese origin. Most are descendants of Chinese
Han Chinese
Han Chinese are an ethnic group native to China and are the largest single ethnic group in the world.Han Chinese constitute about 92% of the population of the People's Republic of China , 98% of the population of the Republic of China , 78% of the population of Singapore, and about 20% of the...

 who arrived between the fifteenth and the mid-twentieth centuries. Within Malaysia, they are usually simply referred to as "Chinese" in all languages. The term Chinese Malaysian is also sometimes used to refer to this community. As of 2010, 22.9% of Malaysian population are of Chinese origin.

First Wave


The first wave of Chinese settlers came during the Malacca Empire
Malacca Sultanate
Established by the Malay ruler Parameswara, the Sultanate of Malacca was first a Hindu kingdom in 1402 and later became Muslim following the marriage of the princess of Pasai in 1409. Centered in the modern town of Malacca, the sultanate bordered the Ayutthaya Kingdom of Siam in the north to...

 in the early 15th century. The friendly diplomatic relations between China and Melaka culminated during the reign of Sultan Mansur Syah
Mansur Shah of Malacca
Sultan Mansur Shah was the sixth Sultan of Malacca. He ruled Malacca from 1459 to 1477. He ascended the throne after the death of his father, Muzaffar Shah.-Expansions of Malaccan Empire:Mansur Shah implemented a policy of expansionism during his rule...

 who married Hang Li Po
Hang Li Po
Hang Li Po was the fifth wife of Malaccan Sultan Mansur Shah . It is disputed whether Hang Li Po ever existed since she was never recorded in the Ming Chronicles of the ruling Chinese Ming Dynasty nor in the genealogical record of the imperial house of Zhu, the royal family of the Ming dynasty...

 from China. A senior minister of state and five hundred youth of noble births and handmaidens in waiting accompanied the princess to Malacca.
The descendants of these people are called Baba (men) and Nyonya (women).

Second Wave


The second and much bigger wave of Chinese immigrants came during the 19th century and early 20th century as coolie
Coolie
Historically, a coolie was a manual labourer or slave from Asia, particularly China, India, and the Phillipines during the 19th century and early 20th century...

s. These immigrants were running away from China due to the fighting of the Opium War in 1840. Their immigration to Malaya was encouraged by the British who needed Chinese coolies to work on their rubber plantations and tin mines. The immigrants came as free labour or indentured labour on a credit ticket system. Free labour meant they financed their own journey with savings or loans from their kinsman. These groups of early Chinese coolies are not surprisingly the most exploited by their employers. They worked long hours to pay off the high interest rates on credit ticket system.

Min Nan people


The Min Nan Chinese (闽南人) form the largest Chinese group in Malaysia and they came from Fujian, eastern Guangdong and Hainan provinces.

Hokkien


The Hokkiens (福建人) are the largest Chinese dialect group in Malaysia. Chinese settlers from the southern regions of Fujian constitute the largest group, and generally identified as Hokkien. The bulk of Chinese settlers in Malaya before the 18th century came from Amoy
Amoy
Xiamen, or Amoy, is a city on the southeast coast of China.Amoy may also refer to:*Amoy dialect, a dialect of the Hokkien lects, which are part of the Southern Min group of Chinese languages...

 and Zhangzhou
Zhangzhou
Zhangzhou is a prefecture-level city in southern Fujian province, People's Republic of China. Located on the banks of the Jiulong River , Zhangzhou borders the cities of Xiamen and Quanzhou to the northeast, Longyan City to the northwest and the province of Guangdong to the southwest.Zhangzhou...

 and settled primarily in Penang
Penang
Penang is a state in Malaysia and the name of its constituent island, located on the northwest coast of Peninsular Malaysia by the Strait of Malacca. It is bordered by Kedah in the north and east, and Perak in the south. Penang is the second smallest Malaysian state in area after Perlis, and the...

 and Malacca
Malacca
Malacca , dubbed The Historic State or Negeri Bersejarah among locals) is the third smallest Malaysian state, after Perlis and Penang. It is located in the southern region of the Malay Peninsula, on the Straits of Malacca. It borders Negeri Sembilan to the north and the state of Johor to the south...

, where they formed the bulk of the local Chinese
Peranakan
Peranakan Chinese and Baba-Nyonya are terms used for the descendants of late 15th and 16th-century Chinese immigrants to the Indonesian archipelago of Nusantara during the Colonial era....

 populace. More Hokkiens settled in Malaya from the 19th century onwards, and dominated the rubber plantation and financial sectors of the Malayan economy. The bulk of Hokkien-speaking Chinese settled in the Malay Peninsula
Malay Peninsula
The Malay Peninsula or Thai-Malay Peninsula is a peninsula in Southeast Asia. The land mass runs approximately north-south and, at its terminus, is the southern-most point of the Asian mainland...

 and formed the largest dialect group in many states, specifically in Penang, Malacca, Kelantan, Terengganu, Kedah and Perlis. In Malaysian Borneo, the Hokkiens make up a sizeable proportion within the Chinese community, and are primarily found in larger towns, notably Kuching
Kuching
Kuching , officially the City of Kuching, and formerly the City of Sarawak, is the capital and most populous city of the East Malaysian state of Sarawak. It is the largest city on the island of Borneo, and the fourth largest city in Malaysia....

 and Sibu
Sibu
Sibu may refer to:*Sibu, Sarawak in Eastern Malaysia*Sibu Division*Sibu , an impact crater on Mars*Pulau Sibu, an island off the eastern coast of peninsular Malaysia*Sibu , name of a goddess in the Bribri tribe, in Costa Rica...

.

Teochew


Teochew immigrants (潮州人) from the Chaoshan
Chaoshan
Cháoshàn refers to the linguistic and cultural region in the east of Guangdong, a southeastern province of China. This region is the origin of the Min Nan dialect Teochew. The area is known as Teochew for most people overseas, although it also consists of the cities of Shantou and Jieyang...

 region began to settle in Malaya in large numbers from the 18th century onwards, mainly in Province Wellesley and Kedah
Kedah
Kedah is a state of Malaysia, located in the northwestern part of Peninsular Malaysia. The state covers a total area of over 9,000 km², and it consists of the mainland and Langkawi. The mainland has a relatively flat terrain, which is used to grow rice...

 (mainly around Kuala Muda
Kuala Muda
Kuala Muda is a district in Kedah, Malaysia. Sungai Petani is the administrative center of the district. Kuala Muda district is in close proximity to the border of Kedah and Penang. Apart from Sungai Petani, other major towns in the district include Tikam Batu, Padang Tembusu, Sungai Lalang,...

). These immigrants established were chiefly responsible for setting up gambier
Uncaria
Uncaria is a genus of flowering plants in the family Rubiaceae. It has about 40 species. Their distribution is pantropical, with most species native to tropical Asia, three from Africa and the Mediterranean and two from the neotropics. They are known colloquially as Gambier, Cat's Claw or Uña de...

 and pepper
Capsicum
Capsicum is a genus of flowering plants in the nightshade family, Solanaceae. Its species are native to the Americas where they have been cultivated for thousands of years, but they are now also cultivated worldwide, used as spices, vegetables, and medicines - and have become are a key element in...

 plantation industries in Malaya. More Teochews immigrated to Johor
Johor
Johor is a Malaysian state, located in the southern portion of Peninsular Malaysia. It is one of the most developed states in Malaysia. The state capital city and royal city of Johor is Johor Bahru, formerly known as Tanjung Puteri...

 at the encouragement of Temenggong Ibrahim in the 19th century, and many new towns were established and populated by plantation workers from the Chaoshan
Chaoshan
Cháoshàn refers to the linguistic and cultural region in the east of Guangdong, a southeastern province of China. This region is the origin of the Min Nan dialect Teochew. The area is known as Teochew for most people overseas, although it also consists of the cities of Shantou and Jieyang...

 region. The Teochews constitute a substantial percentage within the Chinese communities in Johor Bahru
Johor Bahru
Johor Bahru is the capital city of Johor in southern Malaysia. Johor Bahru is the southernmost city of the Eurasian mainland...

 and principal towns along the coasts of Western Johor (notably Pontian, Muar
Muar (town)
Muar, also known as Bandar Maharani is a town geopolitically situated in Muar District in the region or area of Muar in northwestern Johor, Malaysia...

 and to a smaller extent, Batu Pahat
Batu Pahat
Batu Pahat is a district in the state of Johor, Malaysia. It lies south-east of Muar, south-west of Kluang, north-west of Pontian, and south of Segamat and the new Ledang district. The capital of the district is Bandar Penggaram, Batu Pahat....

) as well as selected hinterland towns in the central regions of the state. Many rural communes in Sarawak
Sarawak
Sarawak is one of two Malaysian states on the island of Borneo. Known as Bumi Kenyalang , Sarawak is situated on the north-west of the island. It is the largest state in Malaysia followed by Sabah, the second largest state located to the North- East.The administrative capital is Kuching, which...

 and Sabah
Sabah
Sabah is one of 13 member states of Malaysia. It is located on the northern portion of the island of Borneo. It is the second largest state in the country after Sarawak, which it borders on its southwest. It also shares a border with the province of East Kalimantan of Indonesia in the south...

 were also populated by the Teochews, many of them being descendants of plantation workers which came to set up gambier and pepper plantations, following the administrative pattern of their countrymen in Johor. Smaller communities of Teochews can also be found in other states, notably in Sabak Bernam
Sabak Bernam
Sabak Bernam is a district of Selangor State, Malaysia. It covers an area of 1,056 square kilometres, and had a population of 106,158 at the 2010 Census . It is situated to the northwest of Selangor town...

 in Selangor, where many Teochews settled down as rice agriculturalists, as well as in the hinterlands of Malacca
Malacca
Malacca , dubbed The Historic State or Negeri Bersejarah among locals) is the third smallest Malaysian state, after Perlis and Penang. It is located in the southern region of the Malay Peninsula, on the Straits of Malacca. It borders Negeri Sembilan to the north and the state of Johor to the south...

.

Hainanese


Chinese immigrants (海南人) from Hainan
Hainan
Hainan is the smallest province of the People's Republic of China . Although the province comprises some two hundred islands scattered among three archipelagos off the southern coast, of its land mass is Hainan Island , from which the province takes its name...

 began to migrate to Malaya and North Borneo from the 19th century onwards, albeit in much smaller numbers than the aforementioned speech groups. The Hainanese were employed as cooks by wealthy Straits Chinese families, while others were engaged in food catering business or the fishery business and formed the largest dialect group in Kemaman
Kemaman
Kemaman is a district in Terengganu, Malaysia. It is situated on the coast of the South China Sea. Kemaman district is bordered by Dungun to the north and the state of Pahang to the south....

 district of Terengganu and Pulau Ketam
Pulau Ketam
Pulau Ketam, literally translated, means "Crab Island". It is a small island located off the coast of Port Klang, Selangor, Malaysia, and was founded circa 1880. The island is easily accessible from the Port Klang jetty by ferry. The "floating houses" that come to view as visitors approach the...

 (Selangor
Selangor
Selangor also known by its Arabic honorific, Darul Ehsan, or "Abode of Sincerity") is one of the 13 states of Malaysia. It is on the west coast of Peninsular Malaysia and is bordered by Perak to the north, Pahang to the east, Negeri Sembilan to the south and the Strait of Malacca to the west...

) as well as sizeable communities in Penang
Penang
Penang is a state in Malaysia and the name of its constituent island, located on the northwest coast of Peninsular Malaysia by the Strait of Malacca. It is bordered by Kedah in the north and east, and Perak in the south. Penang is the second smallest Malaysian state in area after Perlis, and the...

 and Johor Bahru
Johor Bahru
Johor Bahru is the capital city of Johor in southern Malaysia. Johor Bahru is the southernmost city of the Eurasian mainland...

. Smaller communities of Hainanese are also found in Sarawak and Sabah, where they work as coffee shop owners and are mainly found in large towns and cities.

Hing Hua


The Henghua people (莆仙人) came from Putian
Putian
Putian is a prefecture-level city in eastern Fujian province, People's Republic of China. It borders Fuzhou City to the north, Quanzhou City to the south, and the Taiwan Strait to the east.-Administration:...

. Their numbers were much smaller than the other Min Chinese from Fujian and they were mostly involved in the bicycle, motorcycle and automobile spare parts industry.

Min Dong people


Min Dong
Min Dong
The Eastern Min language, or Min Dong is the language mainly spoken in the eastern part of Fujian Province in China, in and near Fuzhou and Ningde. Fuzhou is the province's capital and largest city...

 (闽东人) settlers from Fuzhou
Fuzhou
Fuzhou is the capital and one of the largest cities in Fujian Province, People's Republic of China. Along with the many counties of Ningde, those of Fuzhou are considered to constitute the Mindong linguistic and cultural area....

 (福州, also known as Hokchew or Foochow among the Hokkiens and Cantonese respectively) and Fuqing
Fuqing
Fuqing is a county-level city of Fuzhou in Fujian, China.It is located in the eastern part of the province, borders the East China Sea, just southeast of Fuzhou and 45 kilometers from Changle International Airport of Fuzhou. Fuqing city has geographical advantage, for its location between...

 (福清) also came in sizeable numbers during the 19th centuries and dominated the corporate industry in the 20th century. They speak a distinct dialect and are classified separately from the Hokkiens and a large number are Christians. The Foochow formed the largest dialect group in Sarawak
Sarawak
Sarawak is one of two Malaysian states on the island of Borneo. Known as Bumi Kenyalang , Sarawak is situated on the north-west of the island. It is the largest state in Malaysia followed by Sabah, the second largest state located to the North- East.The administrative capital is Kuching, which...

–specifically in areas around the Rajang River
Rajang River
The Rajang River is a river in Sarawak, Malaysia. The river is located in northwest of Borneo and it originates in the Iran Mountains. The river flows approximately 563 km to the South China Sea, making it the longest river in Malaysia....

, namely in the towns of Sibu, Sarikei and Bintangor. The Foochow also settled in large numbers in a few towns in Peninsular Malaya, notably Sitiawan
Sitiawan
Sitiawan, Malaysia is a region in the Manjung district of Perak, Malaysia....

 in Perak and Yong Peng
Yong Peng
Yong Peng is a regional town in Malaysia in the state of Johor. It has an area of 1911.6 hectares with an estimated population of 29,046. Yong Peng has two main interchanges on North-South Expressway including north to Kuala Lumpur and south to Johor Bahru....

 in Johor
Johor
Johor is a Malaysian state, located in the southern portion of Peninsular Malaysia. It is one of the most developed states in Malaysia. The state capital city and royal city of Johor is Johor Bahru, formerly known as Tanjung Puteri...

.

Hakka people


The Hakka people (客家人) came from both Guangdong and Fujian provinces. They form the second largest group of people after the Hokkiens. Large numbers of Hakka
Hakka people
The Hakka , sometimes Hakka Han, are Han Chinese who speak the Hakka language and have links to the provincial areas of Guangdong, Jiangxi, Guangxi, Sichuan, Hunan and Fujian in China....

 settled in the western parts of Malaya and North Borneo and worked as miners in the 19th century as valuable metals such as gold and tin were discovered. Descendants of these miners formed the largest community among the Chinese in Selangor
Selangor
Selangor also known by its Arabic honorific, Darul Ehsan, or "Abode of Sincerity") is one of the 13 states of Malaysia. It is on the west coast of Peninsular Malaysia and is bordered by Perak to the north, Pahang to the east, Negeri Sembilan to the south and the Strait of Malacca to the west...

 and very large communities in Perak
Perak
Perak , one of the 13 states of Malaysia, is the second largest state in the Peninsular Malaysia bordering Kedah and Yala Province of Thailand to the north, Penang to the northwest, Kelantan and Pahang to the east, Selangor the Strait of Malacca to the south and west.Perak means silver in Malay...

 (specifically Taiping
Taiping, Perak
Taiping is a town located in northern Perak, Malaysia. With a population of 191,104 , it is the second largest town in Perak after Ipoh, the state capital. Taiping took over Kuala Kangsar's role as the state capital from 1876 to 1937, but was then replaced by Ipoh...

 and Ipoh
Ipoh
Ipoh is the capital city of Perak state, Malaysia. It is approximately 200 km north of Kuala Lumpur on the North-South Expressway....

), Sarawak , Sabah and Negeri Sembilan. As the gold and tin mining industries declined in economic importance in the 20th century, many turned to the rubber industry, and large numbers of Hakka settled in Kedah and Johor (principally in Kulai
Kulai
Kulai , is a town in the Kulaijaya district of Johor, Malaysia. The town is 29 km from Johor Bahru city and 8 km from Skudai.-Administration:...

 and Kluang
Kluang
Kluang is a town and district located roughly in the middle of the state of Johor in Malaysia. Kluang lies about 110 km north of Johor Bahru, east-southeast of Batu Pahat, west of Mersing and south of Segamat...

). In Sabah
Sabah
Sabah is one of 13 member states of Malaysia. It is located on the northern portion of the island of Borneo. It is the second largest state in the country after Sarawak, which it borders on its southwest. It also shares a border with the province of East Kalimantan of Indonesia in the south...

, many Hakkas were involved in agriculture. They cut down the forests to make way for tobacco, rubber and coconut plantations. In time, the Hakka community also dominated the state's industry and economy. However, even today, many Sabahan Hakkas are still involved in agriculture, especially those living in rural towns such as Tenom
Tenom
Tenom is a town located in Interior Division of Sabah, east Malaysia on the island of Borneo. The town was called Fort Birch in the early colonial period. Its population was estimated to be around 46,200 in the year 2000....

 and Kudat
Kudat
Kudat is a town in Sabah, East Malaysia, on the northern tip of Borneo island. It serves as the administrative center for the Kudat Division, which includes the towns of Kudat, Pitas, Kota Marudu, and some offshore islands....

 where they are often the backbone of the local industry.

Cantonese people


The Cantonese (广东人) mostly came from Guangdong
Guangdong
Guangdong is a province on the South China Sea coast of the People's Republic of China. The province was previously often written with the alternative English name Kwangtung Province...

 province and a minority from Guangxi
Guangxi
Guangxi, formerly romanized Kwangsi, is a province of southern China along its border with Vietnam. In 1958, it became the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region of the People's Republic of China, a region with special privileges created specifically for the Zhuang people.Guangxi's location, in...

 province. They form the third largest group of people after the Hakkas. They can be subdivided into people from area around Guangzhou
Guangzhou
Guangzhou , known historically as Canton or Kwangchow, is the capital and largest city of the Guangdong province in the People's Republic of China. Located in southern China on the Pearl River, about north-northwest of Hong Kong, Guangzhou is a key national transportation hub and trading port...

 (广府人) and Taishan
Taishan
Taishan is a coastal county-level city in Guangdong Province, China. The city is part of the Greater Taishan Region....

 (台山人). They settled down in Kuala Lumpur
Kuala Lumpur
Kuala Lumpur is the capital and the second largest city in Malaysia by population. The city proper, making up an area of , has a population of 1.4 million as of 2010. Greater Kuala Lumpur, also known as the Klang Valley, is an urban agglomeration of 7.2 million...

 of the Klang Valley
Klang Valley
Klang Valley is an area in Malaysia comprising Kuala Lumpur and its suburbs, and adjoining cities and towns in the state of Selangor. An alternative reference to this would be Kuala Lumpur Metropolitan Area or Greater Kuala Lumpur. It is geographically delineated by Titiwangsa Mountains to the...

, Ipoh
Ipoh
Ipoh is the capital city of Perak state, Malaysia. It is approximately 200 km north of Kuala Lumpur on the North-South Expressway....

 of the Kinta Valley in Perak
Perak
Perak , one of the 13 states of Malaysia, is the second largest state in the Peninsular Malaysia bordering Kedah and Yala Province of Thailand to the north, Penang to the northwest, Kelantan and Pahang to the east, Selangor the Strait of Malacca to the south and west.Perak means silver in Malay...

, Pahang
Pahang
Pahang is the third largest state in Malaysia, after Sarawak and Sabah, occupying the huge Pahang River river basin. It is bordered to the north by Kelantan, to the west by Perak, Selangor, Negeri Sembilan, to the south by Johor and to the east by Terengganu and the South China Sea.Its state...

 as well as Seremban
Seremban
Seremban is the capital of the Malaysian state of Negeri Sembilan, located within the district of Seremban, one of the seven districts of Negeri Sembilan. The town's administration is run by the Seremban Municipal Council or Majlis Perbandaran Seremban...

 in Negeri Sembilan
Negeri Sembilan
Negeri Sembilan, one of the 13 states that constitutes Malaysia, lies on the western coast of Peninsular Malaysia, just south of Kuala Lumpur and borders Selangor on the north, Pahang in the east, and Malacca and Johor to the south....

 and Sandakan
Sandakan
Sandakan is the second-largest city in Sabah, East Malaysia, on the north-eastern coast of Borneo. It is located on the east coast of the island and it is the administrative centre of Sandakan Division and was the former capital of British North Borneo...

 of Sabah
Sabah
Sabah is one of 13 member states of Malaysia. It is located on the northern portion of the island of Borneo. It is the second largest state in the country after Sarawak, which it borders on its southwest. It also shares a border with the province of East Kalimantan of Indonesia in the south...

. They started the development and turn these early settlement into principal towns. Most of the early Cantonese worked as coolie laborers, engaged in tin mining and rubber plantation. From the late 19th century onwards as the tin mining industry declined in economic importance, the Cantonese as well as other Malaysian Chinese gradually shifted their focus to business and contribute much to the social and economic development in Malaya.

Demographics


An early census of ethnic groups in the British Malay states, conducted by the British in 1835, showed that ethnic Chinese constituted 8 percent of the population and were mainly found in the Straits Settlements
Straits Settlements
The Straits Settlements were a group of British territories located in Southeast Asia.Originally established in 1826 as part of the territories controlled by the British East India Company, the Straits Settlements came under direct British control as a crown colony on 1 April 1867...

, while the Malays and Indians made up 88 percent and 4 percent of the population respectively. Malaya's population quickly increased during the 19th and 20th centuries, although the majority of Chinese immigrants were males rather than females. By 1921, Malaya's population had swelled to nearly three million, and the Chinese constituted 30 percent of Malaya's population while the Malays constituted 54.7% of Malaya's population, whose growth was fueled by immigrants from neighboring Indonesia
Indonesia
Indonesia , officially the Republic of Indonesia , is a country in Southeast Asia and Oceania. Indonesia is an archipelago comprising approximately 13,000 islands. It has 33 provinces with over 238 million people, and is the world's fourth most populous country. Indonesia is a republic, with an...

 (the Indians made up most of the remainder). While the Chinese population was largely transient, and many coolies returned to China on a frequent basis, 29 percent of the Chinese population were local born, most of whom were the offspring of first-generation Chinese immigrants. The British government began to impose restrictions on migration during the 1930s, but the difference between the number of Chinese and Malays continued to close up even after World War II. The 1947 census indicated that the Malays constituted 49.5% of the population, compared to the Chinese at 38.4%, out of a total population of 4.9 million.
Malaysian Chinese historical demographics (%)
1957 1970 1980 1991 2000 2010
2,667,452 (45%) 3,564,400 (35%) 3,564,400 (33%) 4,623,900(31.7%) 5,691,900(25%) 6,390,900(24.6%)

By state & territory


The 2000 Population and Housing Census Report gives the following statistics (excluding non citizens) :
State Population % of Population
Johor
Johor
Johor is a Malaysian state, located in the southern portion of Peninsular Malaysia. It is one of the most developed states in Malaysia. The state capital city and royal city of Johor is Johor Bahru, formerly known as Tanjung Puteri...

 柔佛
54,920 35.4%
Kedah
Kedah
Kedah is a state of Malaysia, located in the northwestern part of Peninsular Malaysia. The state covers a total area of over 9,000 km², and it consists of the mainland and Langkawi. The mainland has a relatively flat terrain, which is used to grow rice...

 吉打
12,569 14.9%
Kelantan
Kelantan
Kelantan is a state of Malaysia. The capital and royal seat is Kota Bharu. The Arabic honorific of the state is Darul Naim, ....

 吉兰丹
2,575 3.8%
Malacca
Malacca
Malacca , dubbed The Historic State or Negeri Bersejarah among locals) is the third smallest Malaysian state, after Perlis and Penang. It is located in the southern region of the Malay Peninsula, on the Straits of Malacca. It borders Negeri Sembilan to the north and the state of Johor to the south...

 马六甲
22,392 29.1%
Negeri Sembilan
Negeri Sembilan
Negeri Sembilan, one of the 13 states that constitutes Malaysia, lies on the western coast of Peninsular Malaysia, just south of Kuala Lumpur and borders Selangor on the north, Pahang in the east, and Malacca and Johor to the south....

 森美兰
22,405 25.6%
Pahang
Pahang
Pahang is the third largest state in Malaysia, after Sarawak and Sabah, occupying the huge Pahang River river basin. It is bordered to the north by Kelantan, to the west by Perak, Selangor, Negeri Sembilan, to the south by Johor and to the east by Terengganu and the South China Sea.Its state...

 彭亨
14,749 17.7%
Perak
Perak
Perak , one of the 13 states of Malaysia, is the second largest state in the Peninsular Malaysia bordering Kedah and Yala Province of Thailand to the north, Penang to the northwest, Kelantan and Pahang to the east, Selangor the Strait of Malacca to the south and west.Perak means silver in Malay...

 霹雳
61,175 32%
Perlis
Perlis
Perlis is the smallest state in Malaysia. It lies at the northern part of the west coast of Peninsular Malaysia and has Satun and Songkhla Provinces of Thailand on its northern border. It is bordered by the state of Kedah to the south...

 玻璃市
992 10.3%
Penang
Penang
Penang is a state in Malaysia and the name of its constituent island, located on the northwest coast of Peninsular Malaysia by the Strait of Malacca. It is bordered by Kedah in the north and east, and Perak in the south. Penang is the second smallest Malaysian state in area after Perlis, and the...

 槟城
44,323 46.5%
Sabah
Sabah
Sabah is one of 13 member states of Malaysia. It is located on the northern portion of the island of Borneo. It is the second largest state in the country after Sarawak, which it borders on its southwest. It also shares a border with the province of East Kalimantan of Indonesia in the south...

 沙巴
691,096 13.2%
Sarawak
Sarawak
Sarawak is one of two Malaysian states on the island of Borneo. Known as Bumi Kenyalang , Sarawak is situated on the north-west of the island. It is the largest state in Malaysia followed by Sabah, the second largest state located to the North- East.The administrative capital is Kuching, which...

 砂拉越
852,198 26.7%
Selangor
Selangor
Selangor also known by its Arabic honorific, Darul Ehsan, or "Abode of Sincerity") is one of the 13 states of Malaysia. It is on the west coast of Peninsular Malaysia and is bordered by Perak to the north, Pahang to the east, Negeri Sembilan to the south and the Strait of Malacca to the west...

 (including Federal Territory of Putrajaya
Putrajaya
Putrajaya is a planned city, located 25km south of Kuala Lumpur, that serves as the federal administrative centre of Malaysia. The seat of government was shifted in 1999 from Kuala Lumpur to Putrajaya, due to the overcrowding and congestion in the Kuala Lumpur areas...

) 雪兰莪
166,018 30.7%
Terengganu
Terengganu
Terengganu is a sultanate and constitutive state of federal Malaysia. The state is also known by its Arabic honorific, Darul Iman...

 丁加奴
2,641 0.3%
Federal Territory Population % of Population
Kuala Lumpur
Kuala Lumpur
Kuala Lumpur is the capital and the second largest city in Malaysia by population. The city proper, making up an area of , has a population of 1.4 million as of 2010. Greater Kuala Lumpur, also known as the Klang Valley, is an urban agglomeration of 7.2 million...

 吉隆坡
71,819 43.5%

States with large Chinese population


As of 2008, the majority of Chinese people are mainly concentrated in the west coast states of west Malaysia with significant percentage of Chinese (30% and above) such as Penang, Perak, Selangor, Kuala Lumpur, Johor.

Areas with significant Chinese populations(40% and above) for each state are:

Kuala Lumpur 吉隆坡

Kepong, Cheras, Bukit Bintang, Old Klang Road, Sri Petaling
Sri Petaling
Sri Petaling is a suburb of Kuala Lumpur, in Malaysia. It is located to the south of the city, near Happy Garden, and was formerly known as Bandar Baru Seri Petaling, Kuchai Lama and Bukit Jalil. This suburb was first developed in 1981; before this, there was a rubber plantation there...

, Pudu, Segambut.

Selangor 雪兰莪

Subang Jaya/USJ, Puchong, SS2, Petaling Jaya, Damansara Jaya/Utama, Bandar Utama, Serdang, Port Klang.
Year Total population Malay Percentage Chinese Percentage
1891 81,592 23,750 50,844
2011 5.46 Million 1.45 Million 29 %


Penang 槟城

Penang island, Bukit Mertajam
Year Total population Malay Percentage Chinese Percentage
1812 26,107 9,854 37.7% 7,558 28.9%
1820 35,035 14,080 40.2% 8,595 24.5%
1860 124,772 71,723 57.4% 36,222 29.0%
1891 232,003 92,681 39.9% 86.988 37.5%
1970 775,000 247,000 30.6% 436,000 56.3%
1990 1,150,000 399,200 34.5% 607,400 52.9%
2005 1,511,000 624,000 41.3% 650,000 43%


Perak 霹雳

Ipoh, Taiping, Batu Gajah, Sitiawan
Year Total population Malay Percentage Chinese Percentage
1891 94,345 44.0%
1901 329,665 150,239 45.6%


Johor 柔佛

Johor Bahru, Kluang, Batu Pahat, Muar, Segamat

States with medium Chinese population


These are states where the Chinese are a significant minority (10% - 29.9%) such as Malacca, Negeri Sembilan, Pahang, Sarawak and Sabah.

The major Chinese population areas (40% and above) for each state are

Malacca 马六甲

Malacca City

Negeri Sembilan 森美兰

Seremban, Rasah

Pahang 彭亨

Bentong, Raub, Mentakab, Kuantan

Sarawak 砂拉越

Kuching, Sibu, Bintulu, Miri, Sarikei, Sri Aman, Marudi, Lawas, Mukah, Limbang, Kapit, Serian, Bau

Sabah 沙巴

Kota Kinabalu and Sandakan. Tawau, Kudat and scattered regions in the south (most notably Beaufort and Keningau) also have small but significant Chinese communities

Languages


A governmental statistic in 2000 classifies the dialect affiliation of the ethnic Chinese in Malaysia:
Dialect Population
Hokkien
Hokkien
Hokkien is a Hokkien word corresponding to Standard Chinese "Fujian". It may refer to:* Hokkien dialect, a dialect of Min Nan Chinese spoken in Southern Fujian , Taiwan, South-east Asia, and elsewhere....

1,848,211
Hakka 1,679,027
Cantonese 1,355,541
Teochew 974,573
Mandarin 958,467
Hainanese 380,781
Min Bei
Min Bei
The Min-Bei language, or Northern Min is a collection of dialects of Min spoken in Nanping Prefecture of northwestern Fujian which, apart from Shao-Jiang Min, are mutually intelligible....

373,337
Foochow
Fuzhou dialect
Fuzhou dialect , also known as Foochow dialect, Foochow, Foochowese, Fuzhounese, or Fuzhouhua, is considered the standard dialect of Min Dong, which is a branch of Min Chinese mainly spoken in the eastern part of Fujian Province. Native speakers also call it ' , meaning the language spoken in...

249,413


Although their ancestral origin are different but due to intermarriages between the different linguistic groups and also due to regional influences, different regions are formed each with its own defacto lingua franca to facilitate communication between the different Chinese dialects in the same region.

Furthermore, the younger generations have generally lost command of their own subdialect (e.g. Hainanese, Hing Hua) and prefer to speak the lingua franca in each region.

Hokkien


Northern Peninsular Malaysia Penang
Penang
Penang is a state in Malaysia and the name of its constituent island, located on the northwest coast of Peninsular Malaysia by the Strait of Malacca. It is bordered by Kedah in the north and east, and Perak in the south. Penang is the second smallest Malaysian state in area after Perlis, and the...

, Kedah
Kedah
Kedah is a state of Malaysia, located in the northwestern part of Peninsular Malaysia. The state covers a total area of over 9,000 km², and it consists of the mainland and Langkawi. The mainland has a relatively flat terrain, which is used to grow rice...

, Perlis
Perlis
Perlis is the smallest state in Malaysia. It lies at the northern part of the west coast of Peninsular Malaysia and has Satun and Songkhla Provinces of Thailand on its northern border. It is bordered by the state of Kedah to the south...

, East Coast, Taiping
Taiping
-Places:*Taiping Island , or Itu Aba Island, the largest of the Spratly Islands controlled by the Republic of China *Taiping, Perak, a town in the state of Perak, Malaysia*Taiping District...

 are predominantly Penang Hokkien
Penang Hokkien
Penang Hokkien is a local variant of Hokkien spoken in Penang, Malaysia. It is the lingua franca among the majority Chinese population in Penang as well as other northern states of Malaysia surrounding it, and is characterised by the pronunciation of words according to the Zhangzhou dialect,...

 speaking.

Klang
Klang
Klang , formerly known as Kelang, is the royal city and former capital of the state of Selangor, Malaysia. It is located within the Klang District in Klang Valley. It is located about 32 km to the west of Kuala Lumpur and 6 km east of Port Klang...

 and Malacca
Malacca
Malacca , dubbed The Historic State or Negeri Bersejarah among locals) is the third smallest Malaysian state, after Perlis and Penang. It is located in the southern region of the Malay Peninsula, on the Straits of Malacca. It borders Negeri Sembilan to the north and the state of Johor to the south...

 groups are also predominantly Hokkien speaking but the variant spoken is Southern Malaysian Hokkien which has a similar accent to Singaporean Hokkien
Singaporean Hokkien
Singaporean Hokkien is a local variant of the Hokkien dialect spoken in Singapore. It is closely related to the Southern Malaysian Hokkien spoken in Southern Malaysia as well as Riau Hokkien spoken in the Indonesian province of Riau...

. Thus, Sarawak
Sarawak
Sarawak is one of two Malaysian states on the island of Borneo. Known as Bumi Kenyalang , Sarawak is situated on the north-west of the island. It is the largest state in Malaysia followed by Sabah, the second largest state located to the North- East.The administrative capital is Kuching, which...

 Chinese speak their own accent of Hokkien in various places in Kuching
Kuching
Kuching , officially the City of Kuching, and formerly the City of Sarawak, is the capital and most populous city of the East Malaysian state of Sarawak. It is the largest city on the island of Borneo, and the fourth largest city in Malaysia....

.

In Sibu
Sibu
Sibu may refer to:*Sibu, Sarawak in Eastern Malaysia*Sibu Division*Sibu , an impact crater on Mars*Pulau Sibu, an island off the eastern coast of peninsular Malaysia*Sibu , name of a goddess in the Bribri tribe, in Costa Rica...

 and Sitiawan
Sitiawan
Sitiawan, Malaysia is a region in the Manjung district of Perak, Malaysia....

, Fuzhou (or Foochow) is widely spoken but it is not a lingua franca.

Hakka


Hakka
Hakka
The Hakka , sometimes Hakka Han, are Han Chinese who speak the Hakka language and have links to the provincial areas of Guangdong, Jiangxi, Guangxi, Sichuan, Hunan and Fujian in China....

, specifically the Huiyang (惠陽, Hakka: Fui Yong) variant, is the main Chinese dialect in the East Malaysian state of Sabah. According to a census in 1991, 113000 Sabahans identified themselves as being of Hakka descent. This is a clear majority over the Cantonese, of whom there were 28000, making them a distant second. This makes Sabah the only state in Malaysia where Hakka is clearly the predominant dialect among the local Chinese.

In other regions of Malaysia, there are significant numbers of Hakka people, for example in the town of Miri
Miri
Miri is a city in northern Sarawak, Malaysia, on the island of Borneo. It is the second largest city in Sarawak, with a population of about 300,000, and the government administrative centre of Miri District in Miri Division....

 in Sarawak and in major cities in Peninsular Malaysia. However, many do not speak Hakka due to the stronger influence of Hokkien and Cantonese in Peninsular Malaysia. The variants of Hakka most widely spoken in Malaysian states other than Sabah are the Ho Poh and Moiyan (Meixian) variants, which are very seldom spoken in Sabah itself.

Cantonese


Central Peninsular Malaysia Kuala Lumpur
Kuala Lumpur
Kuala Lumpur is the capital and the second largest city in Malaysia by population. The city proper, making up an area of , has a population of 1.4 million as of 2010. Greater Kuala Lumpur, also known as the Klang Valley, is an urban agglomeration of 7.2 million...

, Petaling Jaya
Petaling Jaya
Petaling Jaya is a Malaysian city originally developed as a satellite township for Kuala Lumpur comprising mostly residential and some industrial areas. It is located in the Petaling district of Selangor with an area of approximately 97.2 km². On 20 June 2006, Petaling Jaya was granted a...

, Subang Jaya
Subang Jaya
Subang Jaya is a suburban city in the Klang Valley, Selangor, Malaysia. It comprises the southern third of the district of Petaling, and is home to a third of the district population of 1.78 million. Subang Jaya comprises , Bandar Sunway, UEP Subang Jaya, Putra Heights and Batu Tiga...

, Seremban
Seremban
Seremban is the capital of the Malaysian state of Negeri Sembilan, located within the district of Seremban, one of the seven districts of Negeri Sembilan. The town's administration is run by the Seremban Municipal Council or Majlis Perbandaran Seremban...

, Ipoh
Ipoh
Ipoh is the capital city of Perak state, Malaysia. It is approximately 200 km north of Kuala Lumpur on the North-South Expressway....

 & Kuantan
Kuantan
Kuantan is the state capital of Pahang, the 3rd largest state in Malaysia. It is situated near the mouth of the Kuantan River and faces the South China Sea. If one measures the distance along the east coast of Peninsular Malaysia, it is located roughly halfway between Singapore and Kota Bharu...

 are predominantly Cantonese speaking.

Cantonese is also the main dialect in Sandakan
Sandakan
Sandakan is the second-largest city in Sabah, East Malaysia, on the north-eastern coast of Borneo. It is located on the east coast of the island and it is the administrative centre of Sandakan Division and was the former capital of British North Borneo...

. The only district dominated by Cantonese dialect in Johor is Mersing
Mersing
Mersing is a town in Mersing District in the northeast corner of the state of Johor, Malaysia.Mersing town is a lively tourist town visited by Malaysians and foreign tourists....

.

Many Chinese of other dialect subgroups are able to understand and/or speak Cantonese at various levels due to the influence of movies and television programs from Hong Kong
Hong Kong
Hong Kong is one of two Special Administrative Regions of the People's Republic of China , the other being Macau. A city-state situated on China's south coast and enclosed by the Pearl River Delta and South China Sea, it is renowned for its expansive skyline and deep natural harbour...

, which are aired on the TVB channel through the Astro
Astro (Malaysian satellite television)
Astro is the brand name of the Malaysian direct broadcast satellite pay television service. It transmits digital satellite television and radio to households in Malaysia & Brunei...

 pay television service. The Hakkas, especially, are able to pick up Cantonese with ease due to the similarities between the Hakka and Cantonese dialects.

Mandarin


Southern Peninsular Malaysia especially Johor
Johor
Johor is a Malaysian state, located in the southern portion of Peninsular Malaysia. It is one of the most developed states in Malaysia. The state capital city and royal city of Johor is Johor Bahru, formerly known as Tanjung Puteri...

 are predominantly Mandarin speaking.

This is a result of influence from the Mandarin dominant media from Singapore and proximity of Johor to Singapore. Johor and parts of Malacca are able to receive Singapore's free-to-air TV.

Many Chinese educated Malaysian Chinese families have taken to speaking Mandarin with their children due to the notion that other Chinese dialects are growing increasingly redundant in an era where Mandarin is increasing in importance. This has led to the emergence of a community of young Chinese who are fluent in Mandarin but unable to speak their native Chinese dialect, understand but do not speak it, or prefer not to speak it in public.

Unlike Singapore which has a single medium of instruction, not all families send their children to Chinese medium schools so there still exists Malay or English educated Chinese who don't know how to speak Mandarin. Morever, a significant percentage of older generation regardless of education are more comfortable speaking non Mandarin dialects.

Education


Malaysian Chinese can be categorised to be educated in 3 different streams of education i.e. English educated, Chinese educated and Malay educated. This is due to the different era and type of education offered mentioned below.

Public education in Malaysia is free. There are two types of public schools at the primary level: the Malay-medium National schools and the non-Malay-medium National-type schools. National-type schools are subdivided into Chinese-medium and Tamil-medium schools. For the secondary level, only Malay-medium National schools currently exist. There used to be English-medium National-type schools at the primary and the secondary levels as well, however they had been assimilated to become Malay-medium National schools since the 1980s. In all schools, Malay
Malay language
Malay is a major language of the Austronesian family. It is the official language of Malaysia , Indonesia , Brunei and Singapore...

 (the national language) and English
English language
English is a West Germanic language that arose in the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms of England and spread into what was to become south-east Scotland under the influence of the Anglian medieval kingdom of Northumbria...

 are compulsory subjects. By law, primary education is compulsory. Malaysian Chinese citizens can choose to attend any school regardless of medium of instructiion, although virtually none choose to attend Tamil-medium schools due to cultural differences.

At the tertiary level, most Bachelor's degree courses offered at public universities are taught in the national language, that is, Bahasa Malaysia, while post-graduates studies are usually conducted in English. English is used as the primary medium of instruction at most private higher educational institutions.

About 90% of Malaysian Chinese children in Malaysia today go to Mandarin-medium primary schools, while only a small group of 10% or so attend Malay medium primary schools. However, most Malaysian Chinese (more than 95%) switch to Malay medium schools for their secondary education. The rationale behind this is because Malay-medium secondary schools are free while Mandarin-medium secondary schools are fee paying.

The switch from Mandarin medium primary school to Malay medium secondary school for the majority of Malaysian Chinese has resulted in many school dropouts as students are unable to cope with the difference in the medium of instruction. The Malaysian Chinese Association
Malaysian Chinese Association
Malaysian Chinese Association is a uni-racial political party in Malaysia that represents the Malaysian Chinese ethnicity; it is one of the three major component parties of the ruling coalition in Malaysia called the Barisan Nasional in Malay, or National Front in English.Along with the largest...

 (MCA) pointed out an estimated 25% of Chinese students dropout before reaching the age of 18; the annual dropout rate is estimated to be over 100,000 and worsening. Certain dropouts become apprentices in workshops, picking up skills like plumbing or motor-repair. Others eager to make a quick buck find themselves involved in illicit trades, such as peddling pirated DVDs or collecting debts for loan sharks. However in October 2011, Deputy Education Minister Wee Ka Siong
Wee Ka Siong
Datuk Ir. Dr. Wee Ka Siong is a Malaysian politician who has served as Member of Parliament of Ayer Hitam, Johor since 2004....

 indicated that the 25% dropout rate may not be accurate as many Chinese students choose to pursue their studies at private schools or overseas such as in Singapore
Singapore
Singapore , officially the Republic of Singapore, is a Southeast Asian city-state off the southern tip of the Malay Peninsula, north of the equator. An island country made up of 63 islands, it is separated from Malaysia by the Straits of Johor to its north and from Indonesia's Riau Islands by the...

, while the Malaysian government only collates student data from the national school system, giving a false impression of a high dropout rate.

During the colonial period and for years after independence, English schools originally established by the British colonial government were regarded as more prestigious than the different vernacular schools. As a result, a significant number of older Malaysian Chinese who attended school before the 1970s are English-educated. Beginning in the 1970s, English-medium teaching was replaced with Malay-medium teaching in English national-type schools, which became Malay-medium national schools. Since then, most English-educated parents send their children to Chinese primary schools while a few choose to send their children to Malay-medium national schools. Those who went to national schools would be known as Malay-educated Chinese.

The eventual objective of making Malay the main medium of instruction in schools as stated in the Razak Report
Razak Report
The Razak Report is a Malayan educational proposal written in the 1956. Named after the then Education Minister, Tun Abdul Razak, its goal was to reform the education system in Malaya...

 (the fundamental report for the education policy of Malaysia), along with the assimilation of English national-type schools into Malay national schools, had led to Chinese education groups being vigorously protective of the Chinese education system in Malaysia. In 2003 to 2011, the Malaysian government introduced an experimental policy of using English as the language of instruction for Science
Science
Science is a systematic enterprise that builds and organizes knowledge in the form of testable explanations and predictions about the universe...

 and Mathematics
Mathematics
Mathematics is the study of quantity, space, structure, and change. Mathematicians seek out patterns and formulate new conjectures. Mathematicians resolve the truth or falsity of conjectures by mathematical proofs, which are arguments sufficient to convince other mathematicians of their validity...

 at primary and secondary schools. The decision sparked concerns and protests among Chinese education groups. A compromise was reached that Chinese primary schools would teach Science and Mathematics in both Chinese and English. In July 2009, the education minister announced that the medium of instruction for Science
Science
Science is a systematic enterprise that builds and organizes knowledge in the form of testable explanations and predictions about the universe...

 and Mathematics
Mathematics
Mathematics is the study of quantity, space, structure, and change. Mathematicians seek out patterns and formulate new conjectures. Mathematicians resolve the truth or falsity of conjectures by mathematical proofs, which are arguments sufficient to convince other mathematicians of their validity...

 would revert back to the original languages of instruction starting from 2012.

Name Format


Non Mandarin

Before Mandarin gained popularity among Malaysian Chinese in the late 20th century, Malaysian Chinese romanised their names according to the pronunciation of their Chinese names in their respective original dialect. E.g.:

Male: Yap Ah Loy
Yap Ah Loy
Yap Ah Loy , also known as Yap Tet Loy and Yap Mao Lan. He is regarded as the founding father of modern Kuala Lumpur, he developed Kuala Lumpur as a commercial and mining centre during the mid-19th century...

 葉亞來 (Hakka)

Male: Chee Hood Siong (Baba)

Mandarin

The younger generations tend to retain the original dialect for the surname while using Mandarin pronunciation and romanisation for the given name. E.g.:

Male: Chan Yung Choong 陈永聪 (Surname: Cantonese, Given name: Mandarin)

In recent years, it has become increasingly common for given names to be romanised according to the Pinyin system. E.g.:

Female: Wee Xiao Wen 黄小雯 (Surname: Hokkien/Hokchiu, Given name: Mandarin, according to Pinyin romanisation)

English

Some Chinese will adopt an English nickname for the convenience of Westerners e.g.

Yeoh Choo Kheng 楊紫瓊, Michelle commonly written as Michelle Yeoh
Michelle Yeoh
Michelle Yeoh Choo-Kheng is a Hong Kong-based Malaysian Chinese actress, well known for performing her own stunts in the action films that brought her to fame in the early 1990s....



Muslim

Those who marry Muslims and converted into Muslim will have a Muslim name in front e.g.

Tan Yew Leong, Abdullah commonly written as Abdullah Tan

Religion


A majority of the Chinese in Malaysia claim to be Buddhist
Buddhism
Buddhism is a religion and philosophy encompassing a variety of traditions, beliefs and practices, largely based on teachings attributed to Siddhartha Gautama, commonly known as the Buddha . The Buddha lived and taught in the northeastern Indian subcontinent some time between the 6th and 4th...

 or Taoist
Taoism
Taoism refers to a philosophical or religious tradition in which the basic concept is to establish harmony with the Tao , which is the mechanism of everything that exists...

, though the lines between them are often blurred and, typically, a syncretic Chinese religion incorporating elements of Buddhism
Buddhism
Buddhism is a religion and philosophy encompassing a variety of traditions, beliefs and practices, largely based on teachings attributed to Siddhartha Gautama, commonly known as the Buddha . The Buddha lived and taught in the northeastern Indian subcontinent some time between the 6th and 4th...

, Taoism
Taoism
Taoism refers to a philosophical or religious tradition in which the basic concept is to establish harmony with the Tao , which is the mechanism of everything that exists...

, Confucianism
Confucianism
Confucianism is a Chinese ethical and philosophical system developed from the teachings of the Chinese philosopher Confucius . Confucianism originated as an "ethical-sociopolitical teaching" during the Spring and Autumn Period, but later developed metaphysical and cosmological elements in the Han...

 and traditional ancestor-worship is practised, with the fact that each individual follows it in varying degrees. Thus, Chinese Buddhism is traditionally embraced by the Chinese which is brought over from China and handed down over the generations of Malaysian Chinese born in Malaysia.

About 9.6% are Christian
Christian
A Christian is a person who adheres to Christianity, an Abrahamic, monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth as recorded in the Canonical gospels and the letters of the New Testament...

 (Mainstream Protestants, Catholics
Roman Catholic Church
The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the world's largest Christian church, with over a billion members. Led by the Pope, it defines its mission as spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ, administering the sacraments and exercising charity...

 and other denominations including a fast-growing number of Evangelicals
Evangelicalism
Evangelicalism is a Protestant Christian movement which began in Great Britain in the 1730s and gained popularity in the United States during the series of Great Awakenings of the 18th and 19th century.Its key commitments are:...

 and Charismatics). This is largely due to the influences of Western educated Malaysian Chinese who went overseas either for studies or work.

A small number (0.7%) profess Islam
Islam
Islam . The most common are and .   : Arabic pronunciation varies regionally. The first vowel ranges from ~~. The second vowel ranges from ~~~...

 as their faith due mostly to the compulsory conversion to Islam should a Chinese marry a Muslim in Malaysia.

Intermarriage


The Chinese in Malaysia maintain a distinct communal identity and rarely intermarry with native Muslim
Muslim
A Muslim, also spelled Moslem, is an adherent of Islam, a monotheistic, Abrahamic religion based on the Quran, which Muslims consider the verbatim word of God as revealed to prophet Muhammad. "Muslim" is the Arabic term for "submitter" .Muslims believe that God is one and incomparable...

 Malays for religious and cultural reasons. According to Muslim Laws, the Chinese partner would be required by law to renounce their religion and adopt the Muslim religion. Most Malaysian Chinese consider their being "Chinese" at once an ethnic, cultural and political identity.

However, there are many who have intermarried with Malaysian Indians, who are predominantly Hindu
Hindu
Hindu refers to an identity associated with the philosophical, religious and cultural systems that are indigenous to the Indian subcontinent. As used in the Constitution of India, the word "Hindu" is also attributed to all persons professing any Indian religion...

. The children of such marriages are known as Chindian
Chindian
"Chindian" is a compound word used to refer to an Indian restaurant within the village of Chinnor, Oxfordshire. It is formed simply, yet ingeniously, by putting the "ch" from "Chinnor" in front of the word "Indian"....

s. Chindians tend to speak English as their mother tongue.

In the Bornean states of Sabah
Sabah
Sabah is one of 13 member states of Malaysia. It is located on the northern portion of the island of Borneo. It is the second largest state in the country after Sarawak, which it borders on its southwest. It also shares a border with the province of East Kalimantan of Indonesia in the south...

 and Sarawak
Sarawak
Sarawak is one of two Malaysian states on the island of Borneo. Known as Bumi Kenyalang , Sarawak is situated on the north-west of the island. It is the largest state in Malaysia followed by Sabah, the second largest state located to the North- East.The administrative capital is Kuching, which...

, Malaysians of mixed Chinese-Native parentage ('native' referring to the indigenous tribes in those states, e.g. Iban and Melanau in Sarawak as well as Kadazan and Murut in Sabah) are referred to as "'Sino'" (e.g. Sino-Iban, Sino-Kadazan). Depending entirely on their upbringing, they are either brought up to follow native customs or Chinese traditions. A small minority forgo both native and Chinese traditions, instead opting for a sort of cultural anonymity by speaking only English and/or Malay and not practicing both Chinese and tribal customs.

Food



Malaysian Chinese eat all types of food which includes Chinese, Indian, Malay and Western cuisines. Some Malaysian Chinese are vegetarians, as they may be devoted followers of Buddhism, while others do not consume beef, especially those worshipping the Goddess of Mercy (Guan Yin). Malaysian Chinese food contains similarities and differences with the Chinese food in China.

China


The cuisine of Malaysian Chinese food are similar to the food in Southern China as they are primarily from the Fujian cuisine
Fujian cuisine
Fujian cuisine is one of the native Chinese cuisines derived from the native cooking style of the province of Fujian, China. Fujian style cuisine is known to be light but flavourful, soft, and tender, with particular emphasis on umami taste, known in Chinese cooking as "xiānwèi" , as well as...

, Cantonese cuisine
Cantonese cuisine
Cantonese cuisine comes from Guangdong Province in southern China and is one of 8 superdivisions of Chinese cuisine. Its prominence outside China is due to the great numbers of early emigrants from Guangdong. Cantonese chefs are highly sought after throughout the country...

 and Hakka cuisine
Hakka cuisine
Hakka cuisine is the cooking style of the Hakka people, who are primarily found in southeastern China , but also may be found in many other parts of China, as well as in the Chinese diaspora...

.

Local


However, there are local inventions such as Loh Mee 滷麵, thick noodle in clear gravy found only in the Klang Valley and dark gravy in Penang. Bak Kut Teh 肉骨茶 originated from Klang and not China. Influences from the spicy Malay cuisine
Malay cuisine
Malay cusine is the cuisine of Malay people of Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, Brunei and Southern Thailand. Different Malay regions are all known for their unique or signature dishes - Terengganu and Kelantan for their Nasi dagang, Nasi kerabu and Keropok lekor, Negeri Sembilan for its...

 can be found in local inventions such as Curry Mee, Curry Chicken and Chili Crab. The influence from the Peranakan cuisine can be found in dishes such as Laksa and Mee Siam.

Culture


There exist some degrees of differences in the Malaysian Chinese culture compared to that of China
People's Republic of China
China , officially the People's Republic of China , is the most populous country in the world, with over 1.3 billion citizens. Located in East Asia, the country covers approximately 9.6 million square kilometres...

. Some traditional festivals celebrated by the Chinese community in Malaysia are no longer celebrated in China after the Chinese Cultural Revolution
Cultural Revolution
The Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution, commonly known as the Cultural Revolution , was a socio-political movement that took place in the People's Republic of China from 1966 through 1976...

. This is especially true of regional rites and rituals that are still celebrated by the Malaysian descendants of the peasant
Peasant
A peasant is an agricultural worker who generally tend to be poor and homeless-Etymology:The word is derived from 15th century French païsant meaning one from the pays, or countryside, ultimately from the Latin pagus, or outlying administrative district.- Position in society :Peasants typically...

 migrants from China. Some have attributed the traditional practices of Malaysian Chinese to "a little backwater of Chinese culture as it was in China 80 years ago".

Economic status


Malaysian Chinese have the highest household income among the 3 ethnic groups in Malaysia. According to Sulaiman Mahbob, as of December 2007, the monthly average household income was at 4,437 ringgit

Malaysian Chinese are dominant in both business and commerce sectors in Malaysia. As a result, they are the biggest taxpayers among all ethnic groups in the country. They contribute almost 90 percent of the country's income tax.

Non bumiputera


Article 153 of the Constitution of Malaysia
Article 153 of the Constitution of Malaysia
Article 153 of the Constitution of Malaysia grants the Yang di-Pertuan Agong responsibility for “safeguard[ing] the special position of the ‘Malays’ and natives of any of the States of Sabah and Sarawak and the legitimate interests of other communities” and goes on to specify ways to do this, such...

 grants the Yang di-Pertuan Agong (King of Malaysia) responsibility for “safeguard[ing] the special position of the ‘Malays’and natives of any of the States of Sabah and Sarawak and the legitimate interests of other communities” and goes on to specify ways to do this, such as establishing quotas for entry into the civil service, public scholarships and public education.

Partly in line with the constitution, Malaysia has devised a long-standing policy of providing affirmative action
Affirmative action
Affirmative action refers to policies that take factors including "race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation or national origin" into consideration in order to benefit an underrepresented group, usually as a means to counter the effects of a history of discrimination.-Origins:The term...

 to Bumiputera
Bumiputera
The Bumiputera is derived from the Sanskrit word 'Bhumiputra', which roughly translated means 'sons of the soil'. In both Malaysia and Brunei, the term is used to refer to a member of majority Malay ethnic group...

s (the ethnic Malays) which spans over four decades. Affirmative action
Affirmative action
Affirmative action refers to policies that take factors including "race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation or national origin" into consideration in order to benefit an underrepresented group, usually as a means to counter the effects of a history of discrimination.-Origins:The term...

 is provided in the form of the Malaysian New Economic Policy
Malaysian New Economic Policy
The Malaysian New Economic Policy , was an ambitious and controversial socio-economic restructuring affirmative action program launched by the Malaysian government in 1971 under the then Prime Minister Tun Abdul Razak. The NEP ended in 1990, and was succeeded by the National Development Policy in...

 or what is now known as the National Development Policy
National Development Policy
The National Development Policy replaced the Malaysian New Economic Policy in 1990 but continued to pursue most of NEP policies. The Malay share of the economy, though substantially larger, was not near the 30% target according to government figures...

  Under such affirmative action
Affirmative action
Affirmative action refers to policies that take factors including "race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation or national origin" into consideration in order to benefit an underrepresented group, usually as a means to counter the effects of a history of discrimination.-Origins:The term...

, various concessions are made to Bumiputera
Bumiputera
The Bumiputera is derived from the Sanskrit word 'Bhumiputra', which roughly translated means 'sons of the soil'. In both Malaysia and Brunei, the term is used to refer to a member of majority Malay ethnic group...

s. Amongst many other concessions, 70% of seats in public universities are to be allocated to Bumiputera
Bumiputera
The Bumiputera is derived from the Sanskrit word 'Bhumiputra', which roughly translated means 'sons of the soil'. In both Malaysia and Brunei, the term is used to refer to a member of majority Malay ethnic group...

s, all initial public offerings (IPOs) must set aside a 30% share for Bumiputera investors and monetary support were provided to Bumiputeras for entrepreneurial development.

Malaysian Chinese along with Malaysian Indians are considered "non bumiputera" and hence do not enjoy these concessions.

Emigration


Among emigrants, Chinese Malaysians form the largest outflow amongst all ethnic groups in Malaysia. It is forecasted that the proportion of Malaysian Chinese in Malaysia's total population will fall from 45% in 1957 to 18.6% in 2035 if current trends continue.

See also

  • Chinese Singaporean
  • Peranakan
    Peranakan
    Peranakan Chinese and Baba-Nyonya are terms used for the descendants of late 15th and 16th-century Chinese immigrants to the Indonesian archipelago of Nusantara during the Colonial era....

  • Overseas Chinese
    Overseas Chinese
    Overseas Chinese are people of Chinese birth or descent who live outside the Greater China Area . People of partial Chinese ancestry living outside the Greater China Area may also consider themselves Overseas Chinese....

  • Malaysian Chinese religion
    Malaysian Chinese religion
    Malaysian Chinese religion refers to religious beliefs of Chinese origin as practiced by the sizable Chinese minority of Malaysia. These beliefs and practices are heavily influenced by the three faiths practiced by Chinese communities, Confucianism, Buddhism, and Taoism.According to The...

  • Demographics of Malaysia
    Demographics of Malaysia
    The demographics of Malaysia are represented by the multiple ethnic groups that exist in this country. Malaysia's population, , is estimated to be 28,250,500, which makes it the 44th most populated country in the world. Of these, 5.72 million Malaysians live in East Malaysia and...

  • Islam in China
    Islam in China
    Throughout the history of Islam in China, Chinese Muslims have influenced the course of Chinese history. Chinese Muslims have been in China for the last 1,400 years of continuous interaction with Chinese society...

  • May 13 Incident
    May 13 Incident
    The 13 May Incident is a term for the Sino-Malay sectarian violences in Kuala Lumpur , Malaysia, which began on 13 May 1969...

  • New Village
    New Village
    New Villages , also known as Chinese New Villages , are settlements created during the waning days of British rule over Malaysia in the mid-1950s.-History:...


External links