How did Malaysia get its name

Cultural diversity

Colorful and diverse - the population of Malaysia

So it is not surprising that around half of the approximately 28 million inhabitants of Malaysia today come from other regions of the world. Although the Malays with a share of 50.4 percent only make up the majority of the population, they are the ones who, since independence, have steered the country's fate with a lot of self-confidence and not without pride. Almost every fourth resident of the up-and-coming state has Chinese roots. Thus, the Chinese, who still play an important role in trade and economy today, form the largest immigrant population in Malaysia. Another seven percent of the population is originally from India. However, the Indian inhabitants of Malaysia are by no means a homogeneous group, but are divided into Tamils, Telugu, Malayalam, Guarati and Punjabi. In the sparsely populated areas of Sabah and Sarawak in eastern Malaysia there are various indigenous peoples who are ethnically different from the Malays. Nevertheless, like the Malays, they are referred to as "Bumiputras", which literally means "sons of the earth" and is intended to illustrate their special status as the original inhabitants of the country. In their regions of origin, they make up up to two thirds of the population. Indigenous people who belong to a large number of different ethnic groups and still maintain common cultural customs still live on the Malay Peninsula. They are called Orang Asli - the "original people". Today, the Orang Asli group with around 105,000 people only makes up around 0.5 percent of the population. Only a few members of this diverse group still earn their living in the traditional way by fishing or agricultural work - many orang asli have settled in the cities and adapted to the living conditions there. Another important minority are the European residents of Malaysia, whose ancestors were often resident in the region since the colonial times. But people from Cambodia and Vietnam also found a new home in Malaysia after the horrors of the Vietnam War forced them to leave their homes.