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Personal names in Malaysia are extremely useful in tracing a person's cultural and ethnic background as Malaysia comprises many ethnicities and cultures in which each has its own distinct system of names.
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Partly because of these restrictions and mostly as a result of the increased religious awareness during the last century, the vast majority of Malays today tend to favour Arabic names.
However, names from the following languages are common as well: Names of Arab-Hebrew origins are also common, for example Adam, Yaakob, Ishak, Bunyamin and Danial and Sarah.
The Department additionally bans names with the meaning of colors, animals and natural phenomena.
This effectively renders many traditional names illegal including Puteh or Putih (white), Wulan or Bulan (moon), Suria (sun), Rimau (tiger) and Awan (cloud).
Thus, if Musa has a daughter called Aisyah, Aisyah will be known as Aisyah binti Musa.
Upon marriage, a woman does not change her name, as is done in many cultures.A Malay's name consists of a personal name, which is used to address them in all circumstances, almost always followed by a patronym.Thus, most Malays do not use family names or surnames.When someone is referred to using only one name, the first name is always used, never the second (because it would be rude to call someone by her or his father's name).Thus, Musa Osman is Mr Musa (or Encik Musa in Malay), and Aisyah Musa is Mrs/Ms/Miss Aisyah (or Puan/Cik Aisyah in Malay).Find out which posts are a hit with Blogger’s built-in analytics.