People-in-Country Profile

People Selector:
Print version:
Step 1 - Select a Country:   Send us your updates!
Step 2 - Select a People:  

Han Chinese, Hokkien in Malaysia

Han Chinese, Hokkien

Send us a photo of this people.  [1]

Han Chinese, Hokkien in Malaysia map
Population [2] Language Religion % Christian % Evangl Online NT Jesus Film Progress
1,992,000 Chinese, Min Nan Ethnic Religions 10.00 % 9.20 %   

Han Chinese, Hokkien in Malaysia

Profile Text
Submit Profile Text:

Introduction / History
Hokkien is the largest Chinese dialect spoken among Chinese groups in Malaysia. Originally, the Hokkien people were the descendants of the earliest Chinese settlers on the Peninsula who originated mainly from Fujian (also called Min) Province in China. Presently, the majority of Chinese in Malaysia, no matter their ethnic background, use Hokkien as a trade language to converse with other Chinese in particular regions.

However, most Chinese in these particular regions no longer speak a pure form of the various Fujian dialects. Today they speak a Hokkien which contains a number of loanwords from Malay and other Chinese dialect groups.

The Hokkien dialect is the lingua franca for the Chinese in Johor, Malacca, Penang, Kedah, Perlis, Terengganu, Kelantan, and Sarawak. As such, the Hokkien as a trade language is the majority Chinese language in these states.

What are their lives like?
In the past the main occupations of the Hokkien were as traders and merchants in the import-export industry and wholesale dealers and grocers. Presently, in the rural or semi-rural areas, Hokkien are tin-miners, rubber and oil palm estate laborers, fishermen, livestock breeders, and vegetable farmers. Within the urban centers they are factory workers, clerks and professionals, small-time shopkeepers, and businessmen.

As with the other Chinese groups, the Hokkien regard surnames (for them this is the first part of the name) within the family as important in retaining kinship and family identity. Sons take on the first name of the father to perpetuate the family line. In the family the supreme head is the father, or if the family has several generations living under one roof, the supreme head could also be the grandfather or great grandfather. On the death of the family head the wife takes over as a supreme head and she is respected like her departed husband.

What are their beliefs?
Most of these peoples grow up in an environment of idol worship, ancestral worship, and strong teachings of filial piety. Their religion, no different from the other Chinese groups, has a multitude of stories, performances, rituals, customs, beliefs, sacred objects and places, deities, festivals, and folk practices.

The main deity in a Hokkien temple is Fazhugong or Zhanggong shengju. This deity, with unkempt long hair and carrying a sword, originally came from the Yongchun district (of Fujian province, China). A notable sight in Hokkien households is the display of three or more generations of ancestral tablets at the family altar, besides other deities. For the typical Hokkien family, a distinct ritual follows when a death occurs: holes are made in the deceased's pockets to prevent him or her from taking away the family's wealth.

A small percentage of the Hokkien are Christians.

What are their needs?
The Hokkien people believe that good education is the stepping-stone on the path to success. Yet, not many have received formal education beyond secondary level. Formal education and vocational training in a wide variety of skills would be helpful. Pray that these needs will be met and also that He would awaken believers to the needs around them.

View Han Chinese, Hokkien in all countries.

Prayer Links
  Submit Update:
Country: Malaysia
Continent: Asia
Region: Asia, Southeast
Persecution Rank:46 (Only top 50 ranked, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
10/40 Window: Yes
Location in Country:Peninsular, especially in Johor, Kedah, Kelantan, and Terengganu states.
(Source: Ethnologue 2016)
  Peoples [3]
Submit Update:
People Name in Country: Han Chinese, Hokkien
People Name General: Han Chinese, Min Nan
Alternate People Names:
Min NanShanghainese
Southern MinTaiwanese
ROP3 Code: 102140
Joshua Project People ID: 11344
Indigenous: No
Population in Country: 1,992,000
Population all Countries: 58,046,000
Least-Reached: No
Affinity Bloc: East Asian Peoples
People Cluster: Chinese
People Name General: Han Chinese, Min Nan
Ethnic Code: MSY42a
Ethnic Relationships: Affinity Bloc -> People Cluster -> Peoples Ethnicity Tree
Submit Update:
Primary Language: Chinese, Min Nan (1,992,000 Speakers)
Language Code (ISO): nan    Ethnologue Listing
Primary Dialect:Hokkien
Dialect Code:6466
Total Languages: 1
Religion [4]
Submit Update:
Primary Religion: Ethnic Religions
Major Religions:
Buddhism26.00 % 
Christianity10.00 %(Evangelical: 9.20 %)
Ethnic Religions42.00 % 
Hinduism0.00 % 
Islam2.00 % 
Non-Religious20.00 % 
Other / Small0.00 % 
Unknown0.00 % 
Christianity Segments:
Anglican0.00 %
Independent52.00 %
Protestant28.00 %
Orthodox0.00 %
Other Christian0.00 %
Roman Catholic20.00 %
(Evangelicals distributed across Christianity segments)
Progress Indicators [5]
Progress Scale[6]   Evangelicals have a modest presence.
Least-Reached: No
GSEC Status:Level 2   Less than 2% Evangelical. Initial (localized) church planting within past 2 years
Bible Translation Status
Submit Update:
Bible Portions: 1875-1916
New Testament:
Complete Bible: 1922-1996
Possible Bible Sources: Forum of Bible Agencies
 World Bible Finder
 World Christian Resource Directory
 Gospel Go
Ministry Resources [7]
Audio RecordingsMegaVoice Audio Bible and Stories
Audio RecordingsAmoy Bible
Audio RecordingsAudio Bible teaching (GRN)
Audio RecordingsOnline New Testament (FCBH)
Audio RecordingsStory of Jesus audio (Jesus Film Project ...
Film / VideoGimchua's Family (EngSub)
Film / VideoGimchua's Family (HanSub)
Film / VideoGod's Story Video
Film / VideoJesus Film: view in Chinese, Min Nan
Film / VideoMagdalena (Jesus Film Project)
Film / VideoMy Last Day (Jesus Film Project Anime)
Film / VideoStory of Hope
Mobile AppDownload Audio Bible app as APK File fro ...
Text / Printed MatterBible: Chinese Union Version, Shangti Ed ...
Text / Printed MatterBible: Chinese Union Version, Shen Editi ...
Text / Printed MatterBible: Revised Chinese Union Version, Tr ...
Text / Printed MatterBible: 新譯本(繁體字版)
Text / Printed MatterOnline Bible text (Scripture Earth)
Ministry Activity
Register Ministry Activity:
Networking: Visit for networking possibilities.
Description: Register your ministry activity among this people group. Contact the Adopt-A-People Clearinghouse and Unleashed for the Unreached to learn about others that might be focused on this people group.
Data Notes
Data Sources

Han Chinese, Hokkien in Malaysia

Global                 Global
  Affinity Bloc             Global  
People Cluster
    Chinese     Asia, Southeast    
      Han Chinese, Min Nan Malaysia    
            People-by-Country (Profile)          
            Han Chinese, Hokkien in Malaysia          
      Religion Language  
      Ethnic Religions     Chinese, Min Nan  
    All Religions                              

Direct link: