Malayan

(redirected from Malayans)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical.

Malayan

(məlā`ən) or

Malay

(mā`lā), general term for one of a population of persons inhabiting SE Asia and the adjacent islands. The Malays vary greatly in physical appearance. The term Indonesian, used as an alternative for Malayan, is sometimes applied to the people of interior districts, who are thought to be related to the Pygmies or Negritos (probably the earlier inhabitants of the region). In the coastal districts there has been intermixture with the Arabs, the Chinese, the Indians, and the Thais. Scores of languages or dialects are spoken; they form a group of the Malayo-Polynesian languagesMalayo-Polynesian languages
, sometimes also called Austronesian languages
, family of languages estimated at from 300 to 500 tongues and understood by approximately 300 million people in Madagascar; the Malay Peninsula; Indonesia and New Guinea; the Philippines;
..... Click the link for more information.
. Among anthropologists the term Malayan is used exclusively to describe an inhabitant of the Malayan Peninsula.
References in periodicals archive ?
The key element of their success was the effective internment of the Chinese "squatter" population, the segment of Malayan society from which the insurgents almost entirely drew their strength.
According to Lieutenant General John Coates of the Australian Army, the Malayan insurgency benefited almost as much from British inattention and ineptitude as its own inherent strength.
General John Coates regrets the fate of Malayan aborigines, resettled to protect them from insurgent intimidation, noting in passing that "thousands died.
While such broad and severe measures were essential to controlling the insurgency, Malayan veteran Brigadier Richard Clutterbuck argued that it was equally important that these powers were formally spelled out and impartially applied.