Malaysia, who form about 7.7% is the

Malaysia, made up of Peninsular Malaysia (West Malaysia) and Sabah and
Sarawak (East Malaysia), is a nation of diverse ethnicity. This plural society of 23.27
million in 2000 consist of the Malays and other indigenous people who form about
65.1% of the population of the country; the Chinese, who constitute about 26.0%, form
the second largest group; the Indians who form about 7.7% is the third largest group in
the composite population of Malaysia while the minority groups like the Thais,
Eurasians, Arabs and peoples of other descent are so small in number that they are all
designated under the term ‘other’ (Census 2002, found at the Department of Statistics,
Malaysia website, David 2006; 3-4).
The Malays are the dominant group in the country and they have a tapestry of
minority racial groups with an equally diverse language groups. They consist of the
Austronesian-speaking Malays in West Malaysia, the Kadazan-speaking natives of
Sabah and Iban-speaking Dayaks of Sarawak who form the major Malay groups in East
Malaysia, the Austroasiatic speaking Negritos in Peninsular Malaysia and other smaller


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