Javanese Malaysians

The Javanese Malaysians are people of full or partial Javanese descent who were born in or immigrated to Malaysia. They form a significant part of Malaysia's population and Malaysian law considers most of them to be Malays. Malaysia is home to the largest Javanese population outside Indonesia.

Malaysians of Javanese origin
Regions with significant populations
Mostly in Selangor, Perak and Johor states of the peninsula and a significant minority in Sabah and Sarawak.
Majority: Malaysian
Minority: Javanese
Mostly Muslim, significant minority of Christians and Hindus (among immigrants from Indonesia)
Related ethnic groups
Javanese people, Malaysian Malays, Malay Singaporeans, other native Malaysians and Indonesians
Javanese Village in Malacca

The majority of Javanese Malaysians originated from Central Java, First wave came from Shailendra era in 6-9 century, then in Singhasari and Majapahit era in 12-14 century, there were also migrants from the Dutch East Indies looking for new opportunities in British Malaya. Despite many of them arrived through the colonial era, there are also who arrived through the World War II to both Japanese-occupied British Malaya and Borneo as forced labour.[1][2] In the present day, they live predominantly in the West Malaysian states of Johor, Perak and Selangor with significant minorities found in East Malaysia especially in the states of Sabah and Sarawak.

Most Malaysians of Javanese descent have assimilated into the local Malay culture, and speak Malaysian as a native tongue and first language rather than the Javanese language of their ancestors. This occurs through usual assimilation, as well as intermarriages with other ethnic groups. This qualifies them as Malays under Malaysian law. The situation is identical with the Javanese in Singapore, where they are considered Malay.


  1. Shigeru Sato (June 2015). War, Nationalism and Peasants: Java Under the Japanese Occupation, 1942-45. Routledge. pp. 158–. ISBN 978-1-317-45236-2.
  2. Richard Wallace Braithwaite (2016). Fighting Monsters: An Intimate History of the Sandakan Tragedy. Australian Scholarly Publishing. pp. 278–. ISBN 978-1-925333-76-3.

Further reading

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