The second category consists of mixed sub-groups who share three basic attributes with the Orang Melayu base sub-group and qualify as Malay under the Federal Constitution. Kacukan and peranakan are adjectives in Bahasa Melayu that refer to a mixed heritage. There are more than 54 such mixed ethnic groups who are domiciled throughout the world. They are known by different names in different countries. In Malaysia, there are mixed Indians or Jawi Pekan/Jawi Peranakan (Mamak in colloquial Bahasa Melayu) on the west coast of peninsular Malaya. There are Melayu Champa and many Chinese-Orang Melayu offspring in Kelantan. There is Ceylon Malay/Sri Lanka Malay (Melayu Sri Lanka) in Sri Lanka. Their ancestors originated from Java. Present day Sri Lanka Malay people speak Sinhala (Milner 2008:3-4). There is Melayu India in India, Melayu Pakistan in Pakistan, Melayu Bangla in Bangladesh, Cape Malay/Melayu Afrika Selatan in South Africa. They are descended from more of Indian rather than Archipelago origin and speak Afrikaans or English. There are Marino/Melayu Madagaskar in Madagascar.
Jawi Pekan/Jawi Peranakan
Jawi Pekan and Jawi Peranakan are local Bahasa Melayu terms. Derogatory colloquial synonyms are Mamak, Darah Keturunan Keling (DKK) and Keling. Jawi Pekan referred to Indian Muslims who lived in the cities (e.g., Georgetown and Ayer Itam in Penang) while Jawi Peranakan mainly referred to Indian Muslims who lived in the rural areas of Penang, Kedah and Perak. The British Malaya administration had used the term Jawi Pekan for the birth registration of an Indian Muslim male. For example, Yusoff Azmi Merican bin Zachariah Merican was born at home on 11 September 1939 in 77 Kedah Road, Georgetown to Zachariah Merican bin M.N. Merican (Jawi Pekan) of Georgetown and Hanifah Bee binti Shaik Mohamad (Jawi Pekan) of Ayer Itam (Halimah Mohd Said and Zainab Abdul Majid 2004:219). Indian Muslims were absorbed into the Malay category for the British Malaya census of 1911, 1921 and 1931. Similarly, in the post-Merdeka period the Indian Muslims were absorbed into the Malay category for the Federation of Malaya Census of 1960 and subsequent Malaysian census after 1963 (Time Series Data Population and Housing Census, 1911-2000 2006). Today, descendants of Indian Muslims are referred to as Jawi Peranakan regardless of where they reside. Jawi Peranakan are descendants of an Orang Melayu mother and an Indian Muslim father or vice versa. They observe both Orang Melayu and Indian etiquettes, customs and traditions. They eat Orang Melayu and halal Indian cuisine. They dress in Orang Melayu, Indian or Western attire. Most Jawi Peranakan are language experts and speak English, Malay accent and the Indian languages (Tamil, Urdu, Hindustani, Bangla, Pashtun, etc). Tamil kinship terms are: atta (father) and amma (mother), nana/anè (older brother), achi (older sister), mamak (uncle), mami (aunt), macan (older brother-in-law), maini (older sister-in-law), machi (younger sister-in-law) (Halimah Mohd Said and Zainab Abdul Majid 2004:92). Urdu kinship terms are: walid (father), ma (mother), dada (grandfather), nani/dadi (grandmother), caca (paternal uncle), caci/cahu-cahi (paternal aunt), mamu (maternal uncle), khala (maternal aunt), bhai (older brother), and bu (older sister) (Halimah Mohd Said and Zainab Abdul Majid 2004:92; Google translate 17 Nov 2010). Hindustani (Hindi-Urdu) kinship terms are: bap/baap/ab/abu (father), aajaa (grandfather), daadaa (older brother/father/grandfather – meaning depends on locality), bhai/by (brother), bohin/bahen (sister), butcha/batcha (child, infant), Ranee (wife of a Rajah, Princess) (Smith 1999; Wikipedia: Hindustani (Hindi-Urdu) word etymology).
Descendents of Orang Melayu are found in South Africa and are known as Melayu Afrika which is synonymous with mixed African Malays. In South Africa, they are grouped as Coloureds. Melayu Afrika refers to offspring of indigenous Orang Melayu women married to African males or vice versa. Sixteenth and seventeenth generations of Melayu Afrika can be found in Cape Town today (pers. comm.). The Orang Melayu names have been modified and adopted anglicised spellings but the peoples still believe in Islam. They observe Orang Melayu etiquettes and customs. They eat local South African cuisine that is halal. The 16th generation can still recognise the karipap (curry puff) as an Orang Melayu food. The curry puff is often used for returning food favours between close neighbours. The skills for making authentic Orang Melayu karipap may need to be refreshed among the descendants of present day Melayu Afrika. They speak the local language, Afrikaans and English. The ability to speak Bahasa Melayu has been lost in the 16th and 17th generations of Melayu Afrika. They dresses in Western and local attire. The Orang Melayu attire does not fit the cold and dry weather conditions of South Africa.
The Arabs came to the Malay peninsula prior to the Chinese Muslims arrival from China with Admiral Cheng Ho @ Zheng He’s armada between 1405 and 1433. The Arabs came from India, Yemen and Turkey and mainly came to trade and spread Islam. The synonyms for Melayu Arab (Arab Malay) are Keturunan Arab and Tok Sheikh, Tok Seh or Tok Arab in Kelantan dialect. Melayu Arab refers to the offspring of indigenous Orang Melayu women married to Arab males or vice versa. Their descendants are also Melayu Arab, based on their physical features. However, a person of Arab descent can be considered an Orang Melayu in Kedah but not in Johor (Milner 2008:4), or Kelantan which has implications on land rights. The Melayu Arab carry Syed/Said (male) or Sharifah (female) name prefixes. The Syed/Said and Sharifah prefixes are often omitted after the 7th generation of mixed marriages as the offspring is no longer regarded as an Arab. They believe in Islam and are often highly regarded within the society for their ability to speak fluent Arabic and recite the Quran and its interpretation for the Muslim populace. They observe both Arab and Orang Melayu etiquettes, customs and traditions. They eat Orang Melayu and halal Arab cuisine. Most can speak Arabic, English and Bahasa Melayu. Apparels vary and include Arab, Western and Orang Melayu outfits. The Melayu Arab peoples are domiciled throughout Malaysia with higher concentrations in Kedah, Kelantan, Malacca and Kuala Lumpur. Today, they are involved in the private sector. Some have been involved in the textile and Islamic books businesses for many generations. Others have expanded and included business investments in education, medical, housing and ICT infrastructure. One owns large establishments in the cities and belongs to Malaysia’s top ten wealthy people.
India Islam/India Muslim
The Indians of Muslim faith came to the Malay Peninsula were from two categories – the northern Indian and the southern Indian. They were important for Malaya’s economic prosperity during British rule. They were also responsible for constructing the early mosques in Malaya and Singapore. Their generations continue to become imams and mosque caretakers. Synonyms for these Indians are Indian Muslims and Mohamedan Indians. Indian Muslims are offspring of Indian parents. Males often carry their name as initials followed by a surname or clan name (e.g., Dr A.O. Merican and Dr Taufeeq Khan). Females have a Bee/Begum name suffix (e.g., Hashimah Bee and Shafiah Begum). Northern Indian Muslim people originated from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Pakistan and Kashmir and have fair complexion. On the other hand, Southern Indian Muslim people originated from Surat, Mumbai, Bangalore, Hyderabad and Chennai and have dark complexion. They are strong and faithful believers of Islam. They adhere to all its teachings and guard all aspects of the religion. Even though they respect Orang Melayu etiquettes, customs and traditions, Indian customs and traditions dominate their lives. They eat mainly halal Indian cuisine along with Orang Melayu cuisine. They are fluent English speakers in addition to their mother tongue (Tamil/Urdu/Hindustani/Bangla/Pashtun) and Bahasa Melayu accent. They dress in Western, Indian or Orang Melayu clothes. Indian Muslims are domiciled throughout Malaysia especially in cities on the west coast of peninsular Malaysia in Penang, Perak and Selangor. Despite their humble beginnings in British Malaya, they are important for Malaysia’s continued religious education and economic growth. Today, they are involved in the automobile industry and are prime movers of Malaysia’s oil and gas industry. One owns the world’s largest pipe laying barge.
Melayu Cina & Cina Islam
The Chinese came to Malaya after the Arabs in two waves. The first wave was during the international voyages of Admiral Cheng Ho (1405-1433). The second wave was during British Malaya to work in the tin mines (1856-1957). Synonyms for the Chinese of Islamic faith are Chinese Malay (Cina Melayu), Chinese Muslim (Cina Islam), Cina Peranakan/Cina Muslim Hui (Tang Ren) (Ann Wan Seng 2010:21-22 Cheng Ho di Melaka) and muallaf. Chinese Muslim (Cina Islam) are Chinese males/females who are Muslim by birth as his/her parents are Muslims (e.g., Cheng Ho/Zheng He). Their offspring is Chinese Muslim. Chinese Malay (Cina Melayu) are Chinese males who become Muslim prior to his marriage to an Orang Melayu woman and vice versa. The Chinese person who converts to Islam is a Chinese Muslim and his/her offspring from his/her Orang Melayu spouse is Chinese Malay or Cina Peranakan.
For the purpose of scientific research and census, offspring of Chinese Muslim and Chinese Malay parents are categorised as Malay. Proper spelling of Chinese names is made difficult by varied pronunciation in the different Chinese dialects. Chinese Muslim names written in Chinese script are not easily translated to Romanised name equivalent and vice versa. Chinese have different given names at birth and are known by different names as adults. Renaming is common among Chinese. For example, Admiral Zheng He (also known as Cheng Ho; Muslim name Haji Mahmud Shams; 1371-1433) was a Hui Muslim of the Ming Imperial Court in China. He was the second son of a Muslim family and had four sisters. His birth name was Ma He. He was captured at age 11 when the Ming army attacked Yunan Province. He was castrated and made a slave before rising through the ranks to becoming Admiral Zeng He. He served 20 years as admiral under three Chinese emperors. Zheng He was his new name given by Prince Chen Chu who became the Ming Emperor Yung Lo/Yong Le/Yongle/Yong Lu (reign 1403-1424).
Chinese males and females carry their own names or new Malay names with Chinese surnames followed by Abdullah to indicate that they have become Muslims (e.g., Hussien Wong Abdullah and Jessica Wong Abdullah). Most use their Chinese names with aliases (e.g., Wong Seong Keong @ Hussien Wong Abdullah). One Chinese male was adopted by a local palace and given an entirely Malay name (e.g., Wong Seong Keong was renamed Hussien bin Isa) which makes proper identification of him as a true Chinese difficult if his Chinese name was not known at all nor by his original or new family or forgotten by himself.
The Chinese Muslim believes in Islam and adheres to all its teachings. They observe more Chinese etiquettes, customs and traditions compared to those of Orang Melayu. They eat halal Chinese cuisine (which is less oily) and some Orang Melayu food (which is oily and often rich in santan). Their meal times are different from that of Orang Melayu. They are often quiet, friendly, helpful and soft spoken. The Chinese speak English, Manglish (colloquial for Chinese style of English), Bahasa Melayu and their mother tongue (Mandarin, Hokkien or Cantonese). Some can read, write and speak Arabic. The Chinese Muslims dress in Western, Chinese or Orang Melayu attire. The Chinese Muslims are domiciled throughout Malaysia. They are usually involved in business, big and small. Many are doctors in the government service while others are general practitioners. They have established strong Chinese Muslim associations (Persatuan Cina Muslim Malaysia, /MACMA and Persatuan Saudara Baru in Kota Bharu, Kelantan) which assist members with their religious needs and also facilitate international business ties. Other business ventures include the importation of hahal meat and dairy products. The most recent international business exposition was the Cheng Ho Expo 2010 held on 21-26 November 2010 in Kota Bharu, Kelantan, Malaysia.
Melayu Serani & Serani Islam
Serani is the local term for mixed Caucasian (White American, European, Australian) heritage. Synonyms are Eurasian Malay/European Malay/Euro-Malay (Melayu Serani) and Eurasian Muslim (Serani Islam). Serani Islam is an offspring of Orang Melayu wife and White husband. Melayu Serani is an offspring of Orang Melayu husband and White wife. They believe in Islam. They observe Orang Melayu and European etiquettes, customs and traditions. They speak fluent English and Bahasa Melayu. They dress in Western and Orang Melayu attire. The Serani people are domiciled on the west coast of peninsular Malaysia. There are pockets of British Malay (Melayu Serani Britain), Dutch Malay (Melayu Serani Belanda), Portugis Malay (Melayu Serani Portugis), and Burgher Malay (Melayu Serani Burgher) in Malacca, Kuala Lumpur and Klang. In Sri Lanka (formerly Ceylon) there is Melayu Serani Ceylon/Sri Lanka. In South Africa there is Cape Eurasian Malay/Melayu Serani Cape/Melayu Serani Afrika Selatan.
1. Ann Wan Seng (ed.). Laksamana Haji Muhammad Cheng Ho. 2010. Persatuan Cina Muslim Malaysia. Kuala Lumpur.
2. Halimah Mohd Said and Zainab Abdul Majid. 2004. Images of the Jawi Peranakan of Penang. Universiti Pendidikan Sultan Idris. pp. 4,16-17,33,92,219.
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