Africans in Malaysia

Africans in Malaysia or African Malaysians, are people of full or partial African descent who were born in or immigrated to Malaysia. Large-scale, uncontrolled immigration from Africa to Malaysia is only a recent phenomenon, with Europe and the rest of Asia traditionally being the largest sources of migration to Malaysia.

African Malaysians
Total population
50,000 (2019 estimate)[1]
Regions with significant populations
Johor · Kuala Lumpur · Negeri Sembilan · Penang · Perak · Selangor
English · French · Malay · Languages of Africa (Igbo, Yoruba)
[] · Islam · Christianity · []
Related ethnic groups
African people

Africans in Malaysia are of diverse ethnic, cultural, linguistic, religious, and socioeconomic backgrounds. A majority of Africans in Malaysia originate from Nigeria. Most originally came posing as students, businessmen and tourists, but the vast majority overstayed their visa and ended up as illegal residents in Malaysia.[2][3] Immigration of Africans to Malaysia and other Asian countries has become increasingly common due to tighter restrictions on immigration in Europe.[1]

In 2012, around 79,352 Africans entered Malaysia legally. They were issued with a total of 25,467 student visas.[1][2]

There are quite a number of mixed Malaysian-African population. Among the most notable, Aya Amiruddin a Tiktok Influencer.

Illegal immigrant and crime issues

From January to October 2011, the Malaysian Immigration Department has arrested 764 Africans, and compounded 1,107 Africans while another 146 have been deported back to their countries. There has been much emphasis on involvement in crimes including ‘black money’, cyber crime, Class A narcotic trafficking, murder, ethnic cleansing, rape and robbery.[4][5] In response, UMNO, the Malay political party in Malaysia had launched "Operasi Burung Gagak" (Operation Black Crow)- by establishing self-appointed vigilante group known as "Jaguh Ke tuanan Melayu" (The Malay Defenders), deliberately targeting and persecuting Black Africans. The UMNO had officially declared the end of Operasi Burung Gagak following their lost in the Malaysian General Election in 2018.

Further reading


  1. Najad Abdullahi (15 August 2013). "African migrants aspire to a better life in Asia". Deutsche Welle. Retrieved 20 March 2014.
  2. Nigel Edgar (25 March 2012). "African students appeal for understanding that not all of them are bad". The Star. Archived from the original on 20 March 2014. Retrieved 20 March 2014.
  3. "Globalisation brings more Africans to Malaysia". Bernama. The Star. 3 September 2009. Archived from the original on 22 May 2014. Retrieved 22 May 2014.
  4. Nancy Lai (11 December 2011). "Be wary of 25,000 African 'students'". The Borneo Post. Retrieved 12 March 2014.
  5. "Taking a closer look at the African community in Malaysia". The Borneo Post. 21 December 2013. Retrieved 20 March 2014.
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