dataSpring began providing its proprietary Malaysian online research panel in November 2013. Within this article, we will also offer insights into conducting online research effectively in Malaysia.

See more about our Malaysia Panel profile




  • Official: Malaysian
  • Survey: Malaysian, English

English was historically the de facto administrative language, but Malay became the main language after 1969. Malaysian English, also known as Malaysian Standard English, is a form of English derived from British English. It is widely used in commerce, along with Manglish, which is a conversational form of English with heavy Malay, Chinese, and Tamil influences. The government discourages the use of non-standard Malaysian language but has no power to penalize improper Malay usage on advertisements.



Malaysia is a federation composed of 13 states (Negeri) and 3 federal territories (Wilayah Persekutuan). The population is concentrated on Peninsular Malaysia, where 20 million out of approximately 28 million Malaysians live. Roughly 70 percent of the population is urban.


Demographics and Ratio of Panel Composition

Compared to the population composition, the ratio of panels in the 40s to 50s age range is small, therefore it may be difficult to collect the data. Please kindly consult with us.

Population Estimate

Gender (%)
Age group (%)

The data set shown above is available in and

Ratio of Panel Composition of dS Panel

Gender (%)
Age group (%)

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When targeting or allocating by income, it is common to design the survey according to the SEC classification.

*SEC is the socioeconomic characteristic that consumer has, defined by variables such as income, educational background, occupation and so on. It is an abbreviation for Social Economic Characteristics. There are several definitions regarding SEC.

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Ethnic composition

Malaysia is multiracial, with many different ethnic groups living in the country, including Malays, Chinese, Indians, and other indigenous Bumiputra ("son of the soil" in Malaysian) groups. This cultural diversity makes Malaysia a highly rich society, with diverse religions, foods, culture, and customs. Malays form 50.1% of the population.


Local Pro Tip

Malaysia is estimated to have over three million migrant workers, which is roughly 10 percent of the entire Malaysian population. According to the government's last census, the state of Sabah alone had nearly 25% of its 2.7 million population listed as illegal foreign workers. Sabah-based NGOs estimate that out of its three million foreign workers, two million are illegal immigrants.

Also, citizenship in the states of Sabah and Sarawak in Malaysian Borneo are distinct from citizenship in Peninsular Malaysia for immigration purposes. For identification of its citizens, every Malaysia 12 years old and up must carry a biometric smart chip identity card, known as MyKad, at all times.


Precautions in Conducting Online Research

The following topics are considered taboo in Malaysia:

  • Gambling
  • Blasphemy and questioning of religion, Sharia law, or royalty
  • LGBT issues
  • Discrimination of ethnic and religious minorities

Final Words

Before conducting online or mobile surveys in Malaysia, it’s important to know its basic profile. For more in-depth information, talk to our Local Experts today!

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