Malaysia was constituted in 1963 out of the Federation of Malaya and the former British colonies of Singapore (until 1965), the East Malaysian states of Sabah, and Sarawak on the northern coast of Borneo. The population of Malaysia includes the Malays, Chinese and Indians. The term "Canadian Malaysian," therefore, does not indicate membership of a discrete ethnic, linguistic or religious community, but simply a shared experience of national origin.

Migration and Settlement
Between 1973 and 1984, 6872 Malaysians immigrated to Canada. At that time, the majority of Malaysian immigrants were employed as clerical staff, followed by fabricating, assembling and repairing; science, engineering and math; medicine and health; managerial or administrative; service; entrepreneurial; sales; and construction. In 2006 there were 1820 Canadians who claimed Malay single origin and a further 10 345 who claimed Malay multiple origins, for a total of 12 165 Canadians of Malaysian origin.

Group Maintenance
Although Malaysians do not belong to a single ethnic community, there is a sense of cultural identity (shared to a considerable extent with Singaporeans), which results from the fusion in the Malay world over many centuries of influences from China and India. It is this sense of common background that distinguishes Canadian Malaysians from other Asian communities in Canada.

Community organizations in Toronto and Vancouver and Malaysian student associations on several university campuses encourage an awareness of Malaysian culture and traditions. Since English is one of the languages widely used in Malaysia, assimilation of immigrants has generally occurred throughout anglophone Canada.