Pattani Malay of Thailand

Population: 2 million
Primary Location: South Thailand
Languages: Thai, Pattani Malay


Who are the Pattani Malay?

The Pattani Malay are Thai Muslims of Malay ethnicity. The majority of the Pattani Malay live in South Thailand, in the border provinces of Narathiwat, Yala and Pattani. They make up over 80% of the population of these provinces.


Historically, the Pattani region was significant in maritime trade. The Pattani Malay often support themselves through fishing, rubber tapping or by growing fruits and vegetables. Some also work in fish factories, in small businesses or as day laborers. Many struggle to make ends meet. The ongoing unrest in South Thailand has also had very negative impact on the economy and society. Narathiwat is one of the poorest provinces in Thailand.

Culture and Society

The Muslims of South Thailand are rich in culture heritage. There are very skilled craftsmen gifted at producing beautiful handicrafts. Malay culture is also rich in performing arts.

Young people today are strongly influenced by television, popular music and films both within Thailand and overseas. A very high percentage of teenagers use drugs. Drug addiction also contributes to high unemployment in the region.


The majority of Thai Muslims belong to the Sunni sect of Islam. The Da'wah (a Muslim revival movement) has been very active since the 1980s. Local people have become more pious in the practice of their religion, fasting, observing prayers and promoting religious education from young.

Prayer Points

  • Praise God that literature about Jesus is available. Pray that more Malay will have a chance to read, hear and be touched by the story of Jesus.
  • Pray that God would reveal himself through dreams and visions.
  • Pray for followers of Jesus to walk faithfully with God, despite their lonely circumstances.
  • Pray as indigenous fellowships are established that they will transform the communities around them.
  • Pray for peace in the troubled southern region of Thailand, and wisdom for the government and local people to work towards agreeable resolutions.

Read the full profile

Pattani Malay of Thailand

Learn more about the Pattani Malay

(External Links)

Tourism Authority of Thailand
Where to Go: Pattani
Where to Go: Narathiwat
Where to Go: Yala

Pattani Malay Human Rights Organisation
Pattani News
Deep South Watch
Insight on Conflict - Thailand
Patani in the Eye of Malaysia

Pattani Malay Language
South Thai Language

General News from the Region
Bangkok Post
The Jakarta Post
The Straits Times - Singapore
New Straits Times - Malaysia


Prayer for Peace

O God, the Compassionate, the Merciful,

May your peace flood South Thailand.

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