Malay language is now the world’s 4th most widely spoken language where about 300 million people in the world speak in Malay.
There are four nations where Malay Language or Bahasa Melayu is the national language. These countries are: Malaysia – (Bahasa Malaysia), Indonesia – (Bahasa Indonesia), Brunei Darussalam & Singapore – (Bahasa Melayu) – the home of about 275 million people.
Other places where Malay language is widely spoken are Southern Thailand, Southern Philippines, Cambodia, and Vietnam.
There are currently more than half a million Cham Malays living in Cambodia.
There are also about 70,000 people who can converse in Malay in Sri Lanka.
The official standard for Malay, as agreed upon by Indonesia, Malaysia and Brunei, is Bahasa Riau, the language of the Riau Archipelago, long considered the birthplace of the Malay language.
In Malaysia, it is known as Bahasa Melayu (though for a few years it was officially called Bahasa Malaysia) or Malay (formerly, Malaysian) language. Similarly, Indonesia adopted a form of Malay as its official language upon independence, naming it Bahasa Indonesia. In Singapore and Brunei it is known simply as Malay or Bahasa Melayu. The reason for adopting these terms is political rather than a reflection of linguistic distinctiveness, as Bahasa Malaysia and Bahasa Indonesia are in fact versions of the same language. An exception would be the dialect spoken in the Malaysian state of Kelantan, which is distinctively unique and may be unintelligible even to a person fluent in Malay.