Malaysian diaspora

From Deep web, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Overseas Malaysian
Total population
Regions with significant populations
 Christmas Island
Minority populations
More than 981[1]
 United Kingdom63,000
 United States26,179[6]
 New Zealand14,547[8]
 United Arab Emirates6,000
Languages of Malaysia and various languages of the countries they inhabit
Religion in Malaysia

The Malaysian diaspora are Malaysian emigrants from Malaysia and their descendants that reside in a foreign country. Population estimates vary from seven hundred thousand to one million, both descendants of early emigrants from Malaysia, as well as more recent emigrants from Malaysia. The largest of these foreign communities are on the Australian external territory of Christmas Island where they make up the majority as well as significant minorities in Singapore, Australia, Brunei and the United Kingdom.

Emigration from Malaysia is a complex demographic phenomenon existing for decades and having a number of reasons. The process is the reverse of the immigration to Malaysia. Malaysia does not keep track of emigration, and counts of Malaysians abroad are thus only available courtesy of statistics kept by the destination countries.

Since independence, a total of 688,766 naturalised foreigners had been granted Malaysian citizenship while 10,828 individuals had their citizenships revoked.[12][13]

Reasons of emigration[edit]

  • Economic reasons[14][15]
  • Education opportunities (e.g. study abroad)
  • Family reasons (most common with recent immigrants or permanent residents)
  • Marriage to a foreigner with a job in the foreign country
  • Business opportunities[15]
  • Religious reasons
  • Political disenchantment/issues[15]
  • Access to health insurance, and other health reasons (see Universal health care)
  • Evasion of legal liabilities (e.g. crimes, taxes, loans, etc.)


Malaysians can only lose their citizenship in a very limited number of ways. Anyone born to at least one Malaysian parent is considered to be a Malaysian citizen. It is not automatic for a child born abroad to one Malaysian parent to obtain Malaysian citizenship if the Malaysian parent has been living abroad for a long time.

Malaysians residing overseas who have not registered as a Normal Elector before or who wish to be registered as an Absent Voter to participate in any Malaysian election may register with the respective consulate generals, embassies or high commissioners.[16][17] As of 2013, only 8,756 Malaysians (1%) out of over 700,000 Malaysians living abroad have registered as postal voters. 6,092 of the 8,756 registered citizens overseas or 69.82% had cast their votes at 100 Malaysian missions worldwide for the Malaysian general election, 2013.[18]

Population by continent[edit]

The list below is of the main countries hosting Malaysian populations. Those shown first with exact counts are enumerations of Malaysians who have immigrated to those countries and are legally resident there, does not include those who were born there to one or two Malaysian parents, does not necessarily include those born in Malaysia to parents temporarily in Malaysia and moved with parents by right of citizenship rather than immigration, and does not necessarily include temporary expatriates.

Continent / Country Articles Overseas Malaysian Population
Asia 502,594
 Singapore 385,979[2]
 Brunei 70,000[4][5]
 China 15,000[7]
 Taiwan 10,000[9][19]
 Japan 8,115[10]
 United Arab Emirates Expatriates in the United Arab Emirates#Malaysians 6,000
 Qatar 5,000[11]
 India Malaysians in India 2,500[20]
Oceania 153,892
 Australia Malaysian Australian 138,364[21]
 Christmas Island Christmas Island#Demographics More than 981
 New Zealand Malaysian New Zealander 14,547[8]
Europe 63,500
 United Kingdom Malaysians in the United Kingdom 63,500
Americas 38,344
 United States Malaysian American 26,179[6]
 Canada Malaysian Canadian 12,165[22]


Many Malaysians have relatives in Brunei, similar to Singapore, especially amongst ethnic Malays of Bruneian Malay origin residing in southern Sabah, Federal Territory of Labuan as well as northern Sarawak. There are approximately 9% Malaysian diaspora in Brunei, mostly expatriates working in the petroleum industry (Brunei Shell Petroleum oil company).

As of 2012, there are 15000 Malaysians studying in China.

Malaysians in India consist of expatriates and international students from Malaysia as well as Indian people of Malaysian descent and most of them are ethnic Malaysians of Indian origin, working as well as studying in the home country of their ancestors.

As of 2011, an estimated 2,500 Malaysians, mostly working for Malaysian-based companies as well as 2,000 students, reside in India, mainly in South India.[20]

The overseas Malaysian diaspora in Singapore is one of the largest with the number standing at 385,979 in 2010, with most of them being ethnic Chinese.

There were 6,000 Malaysians living and working in the United Arab Emirates as of 2010.

There are around 5,000 Malaysians living and working in Qatar as of 2013 statistics.

Around ten thousand Malaysian students have benefited from Taiwan's overseas compatriot education policy, with the country looking for more Malaysian students.[19]


At the 2016 Census 138,364 Australian residents stated that they were born in Malaysia.[23]

As of 2006 census, there is around 14,547 Malaysian-born people lived in New Zealand.


The Malaysian community in the UK is one of the west's largest, this is mainly due to the influence of the British Empire on Malaysia. The 2001 UK Census recorded 49,886 Malaysian-born people, with September 2009 Office for National Statistics estimates putting the figure at around 63,000.


According to answers provided to an open-ended question included in the 2010 United States Census, 26,179 people said that their ancestry or ethnic origin was Malaysian.

The Canada 2006 Census recorded 12 165 people self-identifying as Malaysian Canadian, but only 1 820 of these self-identified as exclusively Malaysian Canadian.[22]


  1. ^ Simone Dennis (2008). Christmas Island: An Anthropological Study. Cambria Press. pp. 91–. ISBN 9781604975109.
  2. ^ a b "GE14: 500,000 Malaysian voters in Singapore to generate friction". The Malaysian Insider. 11 September 2013. Archived from the original on 2 April 2015. Retrieved 3 March 2015.
  3. ^
  4. ^ a b "Leveraging on Malaysian diaspora". The Star. 16 March 2012. Retrieved 23 April 2015.
  5. ^ a b Soong Siew Hoong (29 March 2012). "Some Statistics on Malaysian Working in Overseas Countries in OIC; Commonwealth; BRICS; PIIGS; UN" (PDF). Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Kuala Lumpur and Selangor. Retrieved 23 April 2015.
  6. ^ a b "Total ancestry categories tallied for people with one or more ancestry categories reported 2010 American Community Survey 1-Year Estimates". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 30 November 2012.
  7. ^ a b Sara Cluster (21 August 2012). "Malaysia PM: study hard abroad and return home". The Pie News. Retrieved 23 April 2015.
  8. ^ a b "Table 8: New Zealand resident population born in Asia, 1986-2006" (PDF). Asia New Zealand Foundation. p. 12/14. Archived from the original (PDF) on 9 February 2013. Retrieved 25 March 2014.
  9. ^ a b Lim Mun Fah (22 July 2010). "More expensive to study in China than Taiwan". AsiaOne. Archived from the original on 6 July 2015. Retrieved 6 July 2015.
  10. ^ a b "Japan-Malaysia Relations (Basic Data)". Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Japan. 7 September 2015. Archived from the original on 25 June 2016. Retrieved 26 June 2016.
  11. ^ a b "Population of Qatar by nationality". Bq Magazine. 18 December 2013. Archived from the original on 23 April 2015. Retrieved 23 April 2015.
  12. ^ Laili (29 March 2016). "688,766 foreigners granted citizenship since Independence - Home Ministry". New Straits Times. Retrieved 29 June 2016.
  13. ^ Martin Carvalho (29 March 2016). "Zahid: Close to 700,000 granted citizenship since Merdeka". The Star. Retrieved 29 June 2016.
  14. ^ "Putting the Malaysian diaspora into perspective". Stanford University. Retrieved 1 March 2015.
  15. ^ a b c "The Heat Online - A different Malaysian perspective". Retrieved 5 October 2015.
  16. ^ "High Commission of Malaysia". Retrieved 5 October 2015.
  17. ^ "Malaysia Votes » Exercising your right to vote as a student abroad". Retrieved 5 October 2015.
  18. ^ "Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Malaysia - GE13: Collect your unused ballots, EC tells overseas voters - Home". Retrieved 5 October 2015.
  19. ^ a b "Facing brain drain, Taiwan looks to poach Malaysian students". The Malay Mail. 15 September 2013. Retrieved 6 July 2015.
  20. ^ a b "MALAYSIANS IN INDIA TOLD TO REGISTER AT HIGH COMMISSION", Yahoo Malaysia News, 4 June 2011.
  21. ^
  22. ^ a b "Ethnic Origin (247), Single and Multiple Ethnic Origin Responses (3) and Sex (3) for the Population of Canada, Provinces, Territories, Census Metropolitan Areas and Census Agglomerations, 2006 Census - 20% Sample Data". Canada 2006 Census. 7 April 2011. Retrieved 27 August 2012.
  23. ^

External links[edit]