Bazaar Low Malay Creole in Singapore

Map Source:  Bethany World Prayer Center
People Name: Bazaar Low Malay Creole
Country: Singapore
10/40 Window: No
Population: 11,000
World Population: 11,000
Primary Language: Malay
Primary Religion: Islam
Christian Adherents: 0.00 %
Evangelicals: 0.00 %
Scripture: Complete Bible
Online Audio NT: Yes
Jesus Film: Yes
Audio Recordings: Yes
People Cluster: Malay
Affinity Bloc: Malay Peoples
Progress Level:

Introduction / History

The peoples of Malaysia, Singapore and the Philippines have had a reputation as seafarers ever since about 1500 B.C. Merchants from many countries traveled to the East Indies to obtain various commodities, primarily spices. Arabs were the first group of merchants to come there. In the 1400s, these Arab merchants brought the Islamic religion to the people of Malacca, Malaysia and other parts of the area. Successive waves of Western merchants fought their way eastward in search of the source of these valuable spices. These Westerners displaced the existing merchants, many of whom were from India.
Because there was such a diversity of peoples from numerous parts of the world in this "worldwide bazaar," they developed a hybrid trade language called Pasar ("market") Malay. Today, the language is known as Bazaar Malay. Since late medieval times, Bazaar Malay has become the common trading language for most of this spice laden part of Southeast Asia.
Today, Bazaar Malay (or Sabah Malay) speakers live mainly in urban areas such as Singapore. They are usually children of parents who speak different native languages. Although Bazaar Malay is closely related to the local Malay language, it is a simplified and popular form, sounding cheerful and clear. It contains local words and terms borrowed from traders who settled along the coasts. It also owes much to Javanese and other major languages. One who only speaks only Bazaar Malay will have difficulty understanding standard Malay, which is spoken by millions. Although the Bazaar Malay language is adequate for business and everyday life, it is not taught in Singaporean schools.

What Are Their Lives Like?

Not surprisingly, the Bazaar Malay in Singapore are mainly shopkeepers and smalltime traders. They generally have makeshift stalls that stock anything from folk medicine and fresh fruits to household utensils and fashionable clothes. The Bazaar Malay often work at the night bazaars for those who are bargain hunters.

What Are Their Beliefs?

Although Singapore was not as quickly proselytized by Muslims as other places in the Malay region, Islam eventually found its place in the hearts of the Bazaar Malay. Like other Malays worldwide, the Bazaar Malay recognize a Malaysian law that defines a Malay as "a person belonging to any Malayan race who habitually speaks Malay (or any Malayan language) and professes the Muslim religion." Even though the Bazaar Malay identify with Islam, they continue to practice many aspects of their pre-Islamic religions of Buddhism, Hinduism and ethnic religions. For example, they commemorate many important events in life such as birth, marriage and death with non-Islamic rituals. The Bazaar Malay in Singapore observe the traditional Islamic holidays. Muslim rites are also performed at the beginning and ending of every ceremony—even those that are Hindu-Buddhist in content—especially weddings.

What Are Their Needs?

The Bazaar Malay who live in Singapore have freedom of religion. Yet, they too have very few followers of Christ. Many of them have never yet heard a clear presentation of the gospel. Believers in these countries must seize the opportunity to share Christ with their Muslim neighbors. Prayer is the first step toward seeing the Bazaar Low Malay Creole come to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ.

Prayer Points

Pray for the Lord to provide for the Bazaar Low Malay's physical and spiritual needs and that they will understand this as an example of God's grace and mercy.
Pray for the Lord to thrust out Holy Spirit-anointed workers to the Bazaar Low Malay speaking people.
Pray that they will have a thirst for the water of life that only Jesus can provide.
Pray for a movement to Christ that cannot be stopped.

Text Source:   Joshua Project