People-in-Country Profile

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

Orang Kanaq in Malaysia

Orang Kanaq

Send us a photo of this people.  [1]

Orang Kanaq in Malaysia map
Population [2] Language Religion % Christian % Evangl Online NT Jesus Film Progress
200 Malay Ethnic Religions 4.00 % 0.00 %   

Orang Kanaq in Malaysia

Profile Text
Submit Profile Text:

Introduction / History
The Orang Kanaq are one of the nineteen Orang Asli people groups living in Peninsular Malaysia. They come under the Aboriginal Malay (known officially as Proto-Malay) subgroup. Originally from Pulau Sekanak in the Riau Islands of Indonesia, they were forcefully removed from their homeland when the Johor Sultanate needed to supplement its forest-collection labor force during mid-19th century.

They are the smallest ethnic group among the entire Malaysian population and also the smallest of all Orang Asli tribes. They are considered one of the country's earliest inhabitants though they have been living on the Peninsula for only about 200 years. A small settlement is located in a village called Selangi in the state of Johor.

What are their lives like?
In the past, they were slave-workers tapping trees in the rubber plantations. Today, they lag behind in modern technology and education. They are still working as hard laborers in shrub and rubber plantations. In addition, the Orang Kanaq gather forest produce (such as rattan and fruits). They also fish in the rivers and hunt small animals in the forest with arrows and blowpipes.

The Orang Kanaq in Selangi live in standard Orang Asli wooden stilt houses—a small version of a rural Malay house—developed by the Department of Aboriginal Affairs for all the Orang Asli. Prefabricated from wooden timbers and planks, the house is a rectangular structure on short posts with a veranda at the front, one or two living or sleeping rooms, and a kitchen in the back. It is difficult for the close-knitted Orang Kanaq community to be separated because they avoid marrying outsiders. They believe that such unions will bring curses upon their tribe. Low birthrates have caused their numbers to dwindle over the years.

What are their beliefs?
The Orang Kanaq follow their traditional religion of a complex set of beliefs and practices. However, they would deny having a specific form of worship and beliefs. They have a large body of myths and legends tied up with a belief in supernatural deities. Numerous taboos, passed down from generation to generation, govern the lives of the Orang Kanaq who believe in the existence of ghosts and spiritual beings. They still believe in the power of spirits who are said to be their source of help in time of need. Traditional medicine men act as mediums to communicate with the invisible powers.

What are their needs?
In the rapidly developing Malaysian society, the Orang Kanaq face the impending threat of relocation and loss of income due to compulsory mainstreaming. More worrisome is that they are very few in number and are fast disappearing as a people group of the Orang Asli. One difficulty is that they are interested in neither education nor technology. Pray that believers will relate and respond to the needs of the Orang Kanaq. Pray that they will have wisdom to help guide these people through these difficult times.

View Orang Kanaq in all countries.

Prayer Links
Global Prayer Digest: 2019-03-05
  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, eastern Johor State, northeast of Mawai (Kota Tinggi).
(Source: Ethnologue 2016)
  Peoples [3]
Submit Update:
People Name in Country: Orang Kanaq
People Name General: Orang Kanaq
ROP3 Code: 107668
Joshua Project People ID: 14207
Indigenous: Yes
Population in Country: 200
Population all Countries: 200
Least-Reached: Yes
Affinity Bloc: Malay Peoples
People Cluster: West Malaysia Indigenous
People Name General: Orang Kanaq
Ethnic Code: AUG05
Ethnic Relationships: Affinity Bloc -> People Cluster -> Peoples Ethnicity Tree
Submit Update:
Primary Language: Malay
Language Code (ISO): zlm    Ethnologue Listing
Secondary Languages:
Orang Kanaq (Unknown)
Total Languages: 2
Religion [4]
Submit Update:
Primary Religion: Ethnic Religions
Major Religions:
Buddhism0.00 % 
Christianity4.00 %(Evangelical: 0.00 %)
Ethnic Religions81.00 % 
Hinduism0.00 % 
Islam15.00 % 
Non-Religious0.00 % 
Other / Small0.00 % 
Unknown0.00 % 
Christianity Segments:
Anglican0.00 %
Independent0.00 %
Protestant60.00 %
Orthodox0.00 %
Other Christian0.00 %
Roman Catholic40.00 %
(Evangelicals distributed across Christianity segments)
Progress Indicators [5]
Progress Scale[6]   Few evangelicals and few who claim to be Christians. Little, if any, history of Christianity.
Least-Reached: Yes
GSEC Status:Level 4   Greater than or equal to 2% Evangelical
Bible Translation Status
Submit Update:
Bible Portions: 1629-1932
New Testament:
Complete Bible: 1733-2016
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 RecordingsAudio Bible teaching (GRN)
Audio RecordingsFather's Love Letter
Audio RecordingsOnline New Testament (FCBH)
Audio RecordingsStory of Jesus audio (Jesus Film Project ...
Film / Video / Animation
Film / VideoJesus Film: view in Malay
Film / VideoMy Last Day (Jesus Film Project Anime)
Film / VideoStory of Jesus for Children (JF Project)
GeneralFour Spiritual Laws
GeneralGot Questions Ministry
Mobile AppDownload audio Bible app as APK file fro ...
Mobile AppDownload audio Bible app from Google Pla ...
Text / Printed MatterDownload scripture in this language
Text / Printed MatterJesus Messiah comic book
Text / Printed MatterOnline Bible text (Scripture Earth)
Text / Printed MatterOnline Bible text (Scripture Earth)
Text / Printed MatterWorld Missionary Press Booklets
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

Orang Kanaq in Malaysia

Global                 Global
  Affinity Bloc             Global  
People Cluster
    West Malaysia Indigenous     Asia, Southeast    
      Orang Kanaq Malaysia    
            People-by-Country (Profile)          
            Orang Kanaq in Malaysia          
      Religion Language  
      Ethnic Religions     Malay  
    All Religions                              

Direct link: