Who are the Malays?

Malays, Bugis, Javanese, Banjarese, Minangkabauese, Baweanese, Mandailings, Acehnese and other sub-groups belong to the Malayo-Austronesian group located in the area known as Hesperenesia – an area spanning the southern part of Taiwan through the Philippines, Borneo, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and westwards to Madagascar.
These groups are racially Malay but at the same time may be regarded as ethnic minorities within the Malay community in Singapore. As proposed by the Parliamentary Election (Amendment) Bill 1988, to be Malay, one must declare oneself as being Malay and at the same time be regarded as one by the core community.

Do Malays have surnames?

Malays do not have surnames.
A child’s name is written first, followed by his/her biological father’s name.
For example: Adam bin Hassan
Adam is the child’s name.
Bin: son of
Hassan: father’s name
Hence, Adam bin Hassan means “Adam son of Hassan”.
Binte or Binti: daughter of
Thus, Dinah binte Salleh means “Dinah daughter of Salleh”.

What is the meaning of “Haji”?

“Haji” is the title given to a Muslim man who has performed the Hajj (pilgrimage) to Mecca. “Hajah” is the equivalent title for a Muslim woman.
Only after a person has performed the Hajj, he/she can add the title in front of his/her name. However, this is not compulsory.
For example, Haji Adam or Hajah Dinah.


Where is Singapore?

Singapore is a 617.1 sq km island south of Peninsula Malaysia.

It is located between latitudes 1º 09´N and 1º 29´N and longitudes 103º 36´E and 104º 25´E.
For more information, please visit www.sg

What and where is Kampong Glam?

Kampong Glam was Singapore’s earliest Muslim Quarter where Muslims from diverse ethnic background lived and worked together. It was named after the Gelam or Glam trees that grew in abundance in that area. Kampong Glam used to stretch from Rochore Canal to Jalan Sultan. However, the boundaries might have changed slightly now.

Where is Gedung Kuning located?

Gedung Kuning is located at 73, Sultan Gate, Singapore 198497 – map
It is near the Sultan Mosque.
Nearest MRT station: Bugis

What is the statue at the top of this website?

It is a stone eagle ‘guarding’ the gates of Gedung Kuning.

What other buildings are preserved for the Malay Heritage Centre?

The other building that is preserved is the Istana Kampong Glam (IKG) or the Kampong Glam Palace.
IKG is located next to Gedung Kuning and houses a museum depicting the history and culture of the Singapore Malays.

How can I find out more about Haji Yusoff?

You can refer to newspapers articles (‘In the News’) or read the book ‘Gedung Kuning: Memories of a Malay Childhood’.

Where can I buy the the books related to Gedung Kuning?

You can buy the book at all major bookstores in Singapore and Malaysia or order it online.

Who were the other Malay pioneers and entrepreneurs in Singapore?

Haji Ambo Sooloh – businessman who dealt in raw materials
Haji Mahmud Banjar – diamond merchant
Haji Osman Kaya – businessman who dealt in properties and land
Haji Kahar Palembang
Haji Sanusi Mahmood – first Mufti of Singapore [read related articles about him and the Banjarese – Article 1Article 2]

Who is the person responsible for creating AMLA?

Professor Ahmad Ibrahim, Singapore’s first Attorney-General.