|138,364 (by ancestry, 2016)|
|Regions with significant populations|
|Melbourne, Sydney, Perth, Katanning, Cocos Island and Christmas Island (More than 90%)|
|Australian English, Malaysian English, Chinese (Cantonese, Min Chinese, Malaysian Mandarin), Malaysian Tamil, Malay, Indian Languages|
|Christianity (43%), Buddhism (26%), Hinduism, Sikhism, Islam (5%)|
|Related ethnic groups|
|Various ethnic groups of Malaysia, Singaporean Australians and Cocos Malays|
Malaysian Australians refers to Malaysians who have migrated to Australia or Australian-born citizens who are of Malaysian descent. This may include Malays as well as overseas Chinese, Indian, mixed Malaysians and other groups. There are also ethnic Malays in Australia who came to Australia prior to the establishment of Malaysia or who have come from other regional countries including Indonesia, Singapore and Brunei.
At the 2006 Census 92,335 Australian residents stated that they were born in Malaysia. 64,855 Malaysian born Australian residents declared having Chinese ancestry (either alone or with another ancestry), 12,057 declared a Malay ancestry and 5,848 declared an Indian ancestry. The proportion of Malaysian-born individuals in Australia who claim Chinese ancestry is 70.2%, which is markedly different from the proportion of Malaysians in Malaysia who claim Chinese ancestry (22.9%). The proportion of Malaysians in Australia that claim Indian ancestry (6.3%) is similar to the proportion in Malaysia (7.1%). Taken together with the marked difference in the proportion who cite Islam as their religion (60% in Malaysia, 5% in Australia), it is clear that migration from Malaysia to Australia has not reflected a cross-section of Malaysia, but rather, is heavily skewed towards the ethnic Chinese community and to a lesser extent the ethnic Indian community.
Malaysian Australians are well established in Australia. Slightly more than half (46,445) had Australian citizenship, and 47,521 had arrived in Australia in 1989 or earlier. 32,325 spoke English at home, 24,347 spoke Cantonese, 18,676 spoke Mandarin and 5,329 spoke Bahasa Melayu. Malaysian Australians were resident in Melbourne (29,174), Sydney (21,211) and Perth (18,993).
Although Malaysia has a 60% Muslim population, only 5% of Malaysian-born Australians cited Islam as their religion in the 2006 Census, the largest religions were Christianity (43%) and Buddhism (26%).
Malay labourers were brought over to Australia to work mainly in the copra, sugarcane, pearl diving and trepang industries. In the case of Cocos Islands, the Malays were first brought as slaves under Alexander Hare in 1826, but were then employed as coconut harvesters for copra. However, there were no historical facts that prove that the Malays settled in mainland Australia and the east coast until the late 19th century, where they not only worked in the trepang or pearl diving industry, but also in sugarcane plantations.
In Western Australia and the Northern Territory, Malay pearl divers were recruited through an agreement with the Dutch. By 1875, there were 1800 Malay pearl divers working in Western Australia alone. Most of them returned home when their contracts expired. The Immigration Restriction Act 1901 severely curtailed this community's growth.
From the 1950s onwards Malaysians came to Australia to study under the Colombo Plan, with many choosing to stay in Australia after graduation. Their numbers increased following the end of the Immigration Restriction Act in 1973. As Malaysia's affluence increased, more students came to study as self-financed students.
Notable Malaysian Australians
|name||Born - Died||Notable for||Connection with Australia||Connection with Malaysia|
|Che'Nelle||1983-||singer||lives in Australia||born Kota Kinabalu|
|Remy Hii||1986/87-||actor||lives in Australia||of Malaysian descent|
|Nick Kyrgios||1995-||Professional tennis player||born in Canberra||mother is Malaysian|
|Kamahl||1934-||singer||lives in Australia; immigrated 1953||born Kuala Lumpur|
|Brendan Gan||1988-||football (soccer) player||lives in Australia||of Malaysian descent|
|Matthew Davies||1995-||football (soccer) player||lives in Australia||of Malaysian descent|
|Adam Liaw||1978-||lawyer, author and television chef||lives in Australia; immigrated 1980||born in Penang|
|Cheong Liew||chef||lives in Australia; immigrated 1969||born Kuala Lumpur|
|Chong Lim||musician, music director||lives in Australia||born Ipoh|
|Omar Musa||1984-||author, poet and rapper||born in Queanbeyan||of Malaysian descent|
|Guy Sebastian||1981-||singer||lives in Australia; immigrated as child||born Klang|
|Pria Viswalingam||1962-||documentary and film maker||works in Australia||born Malaysia|
|James Wan||1977-||film director, screenwriter and producer||brought up in Australia and studied there||born Kuching|
|Penny Wong||1968-||politician||lives in Australia; immigrated 1977||born Kota Kinabalu|
|Poh Ling Yeow||1973-||artist and television chef||moved to Adelaide in 1982||born and raised in Kuala Lumpur|
|Geraldine Viswanathan||1995-||Actress||Born in Australia||Father is Malaysian|
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