Orang Melayu Thai
|1.9 million (2006, est.)|
|Regions with significant populations|
| Thailand (mostly in Southern Thailand)|
Malaysia (Kelantan, Kedah, Terengganu and Perlis)
|Thai, Southern Thai, Pattani Malay, Kedah Malay and Bangkok Malay|
Sunni Islam Shafi'i
|Related ethnic groups|
|Malaysian Malay (especially Kedahan Malays and Malays in Kelantan and Terengganu), Burmese Malays, other Malays|
Thai Malays (Malay: Orang Melayu Thai, Thai: ไทยเชื้อสายมลายู, Jawi: ملايو تاي, Pattani Malay: Oré Nayu, Jawi or Bangso Yawi), with officially recognised terms including 'Malayu-descended Thais' and 'Malay', is a term used to refer to ethnic Malay citizens of Thailand, the sixth largest ethnic group in Thailand. Thailand is home to the third largest ethnic Malay population after Malaysia and Indonesia and most Malays are concentrated in the Southern provinces of Narathiwat, Pattani, Yala, Songkhla and Satun. Phuket and Ranong, home to a sizeable Muslim population, also have many people who are of Malay descent.[full citation needed] A sizeable community also exists in Thailand's capital Bangkok, having descended from migrants or deportees who were relocated from the South from the 13th century onwards.
Separatist inclinations among ethnic Malays in Narathiwat, Pattani, Yala and Songkhla provinces, the cause of the Southern Thai insurgency, are due in part to cultural differences from the Thai people as well as past experiences of forced attempts to assimilate them into Thai mainstream culture after the annexation of the Sultanate of Patani by Siamese Rattanakosin Kingdom. In 1816, Siam divided the Muslim tributary Sultanate of Patani into seven provinces as part of a policy of 'divide and rule'. Despite occasional subsequent rebellions, the policy was generally successful in ensuring peace until the beginning of the twentieth century. In 1901, Siam restructured the seven provinces into a single administrative unit, 'Monthon Pathani', under the new Ministry of the Interior, which consolidated the seven provinces into four: Patani, Bangnara, Saiburi and Yala. Kedah was then ceded to the British under the Anglo–Siamese Treaty of 1909, in which a more integrated district formerly belonging to Kedah became Satun Province. The Malay Muslims of Satun are less inclined towards separatism; this is largely a result of the historical affinity of the Malay King of Setul towards Siam, compared to the violent breakup of the Sultanate of Patani. Pro-Thai inclinations can also be observed in Malay communities in Phuket, Ranong and Bangkok.
The majority of Malays in Thailand speak a distinct variety of Malay known as Pattani Malay (Yawi: Baso Yawi/Pattani). However, not all Thai Malays speak Pattani Malay, some people who live in Satun and its vicinage use another distinct variety of Malay known as Satun Malay, while the Malays up north in Bangkok have developed their distinct variant of Malay that incorporated elements of localism with visible Pattani-Kedahan Malay dialect influences known as Bangkok Malay (Bangkok Malay: Bangkok Melayu/Nayu). The Bangkok, Kedahan and Pattani are closely related and shared many similar vocabularies but still mutually partly unintelligible.
Majority of Malays ethnics in Satun (but also a significant minority in Phatthalung[verification needed][full citation needed] Trang, Krabi, Phang Nga and Songkhla as well as in the Malaysian states of Kedah, Perak and Perlis) are a distinct ethnic group who generally adhere to Islam, but are Thai identity (although with some Malay influences) and speak a Southern Thai interspersed with some Malay loanwords.
With the introduction of Islam to Southeast Asia, the Malays use a modified version of the Arabic script known as Jawi. Unlike other parts of the Malay world, like Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia, where the usage of Jawi is declining rapidly from the increasing usage of the Latin alphabet, Jawi is still widely used and understood among Malays in Thailand.
A vast majority of Thai Malays are Muslims of Shafi'i sect, with Islam as the defining element of the Thai Malay identity. A conversion out of the faith, particularly to Theravada Buddhism resulting a person to be perceived as ethnically Thai in spite of their Malay origin.
Notable Thai Malays
- Thao Thep Kasattri and Thao Sri Sunthon – Heroine and Ancestors of na Thalâng Clan. (Malay descent from Phuket)
- Tengku Zubaidah Tengku Norudin (Kangsadan Phiphitphakdi) – Former Princess Consort of Muhammad V of Kelantan. (Malay descent from Pattani)
- Wan Aishah Wan Nawawi (Sirinthra Yayee) – The descendants of Mahsuri. (Malay descent from Phuket)
- Thapani Nakhonthap (née na Thalâng) – Writer. (Malay descent from Nakhon Si Thammarat)
- Princess Sri Sulalai – Princess Mother of Siam
- Sukhumbhand Paribatra – 15th Governor of Bangkok and Politician. (Malay descent from na Thalâng Clan)
- Surin Pitsuwan – 12th Secretary general of ASEAN and Politician. (Malay descent from Nakhon Si Thammarat)
- Nikanlaya Dunlaya (Nikanlaya Abdul) – Miss Thailand World 2004 and Actress. (Malay descent from Yala)
- Wan Muhamad Noor Matha (Wanmuhamatno Matha) – Thai Politician (Malay descent from Yala)
- Winai Kraibutr – Thai actor (Malay descent from Krabi Province)
- Adul Lahsoh – Thai footballer (Malay descent from Phatthalung)
- Supachai Jaided – Thai footballer (Malay descent from Pattani)
- Ethnic groups in Thailand
- Islam in Thailand
- Languages of Thailand
- Malaysian Siamese
- South Thailand insurgency
- Singgora Sultanate
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