Malay of Brunei

Population:   250,000
Primary Location:   Brunei
Languages:   Malay, English

Who are the Malay of Brunei?

Malay people make up 67% of the population of Brunei, a tiny nation of only 5,270 sq km on the northwest coast of Borneo. A major exporter of oil and natural gas, Brunei is one of Asia's wealthiest nations. The average income per person is in excess of US$25,000. For Brunei citizens, education and health care are free. There is no income tax, and housing subsidies are readily available. There is no poverty.


Malay people are given many special privileges in Brunei including access to national universities and preference when applying for government jobs. Large numbers of Malays are employed in the government, as well as in the oil industry. Others work as fishermen and boatmen.


The Brunei Malay are proud that their country is a "Malay Muslim Monarchy." Islam, Malay language and culture, and the Sultan affect all aspects of life in this tiny nation. The Sultan of Brunei is an absolute monarch, serving as Prime Minister, Minister of Home Affairs, Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces, Head of Police and Head of Islam in Brunei.


Brunei is an Islamic state, and Islam is obligatory for all Brunei Malay. It is estimated that Brunei has more mosques per square kilometer than any other country in the world. The people of Brunei are especially proud of the Jame Hassanil Bolkiah Mosque, an imposing marble structure with 25 gold domes and a massive prayer hall, built in commemoration of the Sultan's jubilee in 1992.

Prayer Points

  • Pray that the Brunei Malay would hunger after God.

  • Pray that the leaders of Brunei, including the Sultan and his family, would come to know Jesus.

  • Pray that non-Malay followers of Jesus in Brunei would have an increasing desire to reach out to their Malay neighbors and colleagues. Pray that they would reach out especially to Brunei's troubled youth.

  • Pray for the thousands of Filipino followers of Jesus in Brunei, many in strategic places of work and influence, to impact the Malay.

  • Pray for followers of Jesus who work in schools or in the oil industry to be salt and light within their circles of influence and neighborhoods.

Read the full profile

Malay of Brunei PDF File

Learn more about the Brunei Malay

(External links)

Joshua Project People Profile
Official Brunei Tourism Site
Official Government of Brunei Site
Malay Language