A. THE COUNTRY
Malaysia is in two distinct parts: Peninsular (West) Malaysia on the Kra
peninsula of Asia, and East Malaysia consisting of territories of
Sarawak and Sabah on the northern third of the island of Borneo. It is
a federal constitutional elective monarchy and federal parliamentary
democracy consisting of thirteen states. Recent years have been
dominated by the efforts of the politically powerful Malays to extend
their influence over the non-Malay half of the population in
educational, economic and religious life, enriching and empowering
themselves while the majority of poorer Malays are left behind. The
current ruling party is a coalition of Chinese, liberal and Islamist
parties. Malaysia exports rubber, palm oil, petroleum and food and
agricultural products. The economy is expanding in the sectors of
science, tourism, commerce and medical tourism.
B. THE PEOPLE
The population is ~27,915,000 and the official language is Malay.
The Chinese and Indian populations, who have dominated the economy since
before independence from Britain in 1957, are becoming less in influence
and percentage of population as the Malay population is increasing.
~58.4% are Bumiputeras (indigenous peoples): Malay and tribal peoples,
~31% Chinese, ~9.4% South Asian, ~0.8% Southeast Asian, ~0.4% Other.
C. RELIGIONS AND CHRISTIANITY/PENTECOSTALISM
Sunni Islam is the official religion. Despite constitutional freedoms,
there is discriminatory legislation and actions against minorities.
Shari’a law, applicable for Muslims only, supercedes constitutional law
on many issues, and there is agitation by the over 100 radical Islamic
groups for a stricter version of Islam.
~62.61% are Muslim, ~12.7% Chinese, ~9.43% claim to be Christian, ~6.5%
Buddhist, ~6.2% Hindu, ~1.3% Non-religious, ~0.9% Ethnoreligionist,
~0.3% Baha’i, ~0.06% Sikh.
In the Christian category:
~3.22% are Protestant, ~3.06% Catholic, ~1.4% Unaffiliated, ~0.9%
Anglican, 0.79% Independent, ~0.01% Orthodox, ~0.05% are grouped as
Evangelicals represent ~4.3% of the population.
Charismatics represent ~2.3% and of those ~0.5% are Pentecostals.
Operation World, Jason Mandryk. Colorado Springs: Biblica Publishing, 2010.