The Distribution and Number of the Speakers of Malay
Among the numerous regional varieties of Malay used widely in Insular Southeast Asia, the Malay variety we learn here is the national and official language of Malaysia. It is the mother tongue of about 60 per cent of some 30 million Malaysians. In addition, those Malaysians who are native speakers of Chinese languages (such as Mandarin, Hokkien and Cantonese) and Indian languages (such as Tamil) also use it as a second language. Malay is the only language used throughout the country, from villages to big cities.
Furthermore, it is closely related to the Malay varieties of the neighbouring countries, Singapore and Brunei Darussalam.