Special Qualities Of M’sian Women From Every State

Some say Malaccan women have a rude way of speaking, but is it true? What if the stereotypes we were led to believe about Malaysian women from different states aren’t exactly right?

Every woman has her story to tell. Whether you grew up in the concrete jungle of Kuala Lumpur or in the enchanting land of Sabah, your environment has shaped you into who you are today, together with other women from your state. Sometimes, you’ll share common characteristics – like a longing for success, an eye for style, or a friendly disposition.

We asked 14 women from 14 different states in Malaysia to tell us what defines them and debunk harmful stereotypes. The answers may surprise you! From Perlis to Johor, Sabah and Sarawak, read on to find out what you have in common with these women:

1. Perlis – ambitious and helpful

“Growing up in a small state, women from Perlis are very ambitious. They don’t want to stay in a place with a small population, smaller job opportunities, where their potential might get wasted. They work hard to make a name for themselves and help out their parents living in the villages, including their less fortunate relatives and neighbors. If there’s anyone who needs something more than she does, the Perlis woman will give.” – Aieshah Ainuddin, engineering undergraduate.

2. Kedah – polite and loves food

“Us Kedah girls are conservative and probably not the most outspoken. We’re polite to one another, and our village is small so most of us know each other already. We love our food though, and we’re not afraid to admit that.” – Yap She Lin, videographer.

3. Penang – family-oriented and gung ho

“Women from Penang are definitely family-oriented, because there’s nothing more important than family. We can be opinionated too, even if we don’t necessarily seem loud or expressive. Penangite women are also hardworking go-getters. You could say we’re gung ho because we know what we want and we’ll work towards it.” – Victoria Choi, undergraduate.

4. Perak – passionate and friendly

Girls from Ipoh are determined and true to themselves, especially those who came from an all-girls school background. We’re hardworking and passionate about what we love to do. We’re also really friendly. Like, I could be meeting a random girl and we’d have a really good conversation. Later I’d discover that we’re both from Ipoh – so it’s no wonder we get along!” – Ushera, musician and entrepreneur.

5. Kelantan – feminist and independent

“My group of girlfriends and I are highly independent and motivated. We’re strong feminists at our core, which usually contradicts what people expect from us. This isn’t something new – Kelantanese women have been feminist and independent since long ago. More Kelantanese women are in the workforce than men, so that’s where we get our independent streak.” – Luna Kamaruzaman, special education teacher.

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This girl soaking in her element.

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6. Terengganu – reserved, yet motivated

“In school, Terengganu girls are more reserved and when it comes to public speaking or basically just raising hands in class. I think it’s because they are afraid of being judged. I was bullied for not being able to speak in the Terengganu accent. However, my girlfriends and I were motivated to succeed despite any judgement and now we’re slowly, but surely making it big. Having a positive attitude brings you places.” – Zaherashahera binti Mohd Zahari, freelance content curator.

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It’s 0100 hours so this is me tryna be unbothered that tomorrow is a Monday (Edit: its already Monday ily oh my god help me)

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7. Pahang – introverted and conservative

“Most of my girl friends in Pahang are quite introverted and conservative. However, I’m quite the opposite of that. Pahangans are typically true to our roots but it’s a little watered down if you compare us with girls from the east coast like Terengganu and Kelantan.” – Nur Ilyani Hashim, brand executive.

8. Kuala Lumpur – outspoken and trendy

“KL girls are outspoken. We’ll tell you something whether you want to hear it or not, especially since we’re interested in social issues, like human rights. Plus, we’ve also got a trendy sense of style because we’re always up-to-date with what’s happening.” – Farah Deanna, social media executive.

9. Selangor – ambitious and quirky

“We’re filled with ambition and tend to not conform to gender roles. Things like gender roles don’t bother us because we’re too busy striving for success and making money. Plus, we have our own quirky sense of style and hardly care about what other people think. Personally, I find it easier to have mermaid hair here because there’s less societal pressure to conform.” – Reina Lum, professional hairstylist with mermaid hair.

10. Negeri Sembilan – fierce and can’t sit still

“A Negeri Sembilan woman is known for her fierce personality. It doesn’t make us selfish or anything, we’re just decisive about what we want. Let’s not forget that we’re extremely hardworking. My childhood memories is full of Negeri Sembilan women who can’t really sit still, especially mothers. There’s always something to be done. My grandmother for example, is still going strong cleaning up her small orchard by herself at the tender age of 80.” – Helga Price, sales consultant.

11. Malacca – don’t mess with Malaccan girls!

“I think the stereotype that Malaccan girls are rude isn’t true, because we’re pretty courteous we don’t greet people with eh ingatkan dah mampus, or something like that. However, we’re feisty and will definitely fight back if you’re mean to us. We can stand up for ourselves, so don’t mess with Malaccan girls!” – Shamimi H., fresh graduate.

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F.R.I.E.N.D 🖤

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12. Johor – respectful and sopan santun

“Women from Johor are respectful towards everyone we meet. The way we speak to our elders and peers is also very sopan santun. We’re pretty laid-back too, and it takes a lot to ruffle our feathers.” – Pauline Andreasa, video producer.

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13. Sabah – happy-go-lucky

“Sabahan women, especially Kadazans, are known to be cheerful and outgoing. We’re really chill, it’s just in our nature. I guess you could say we’re happy-go-lucky.” – Liyana Hassanel, social media executive.

14. Sarawak – demure and ladylike

“Sarawakian women are demure, so we’re ladylike and usually keep to ourselves. Honestly, we’d rather avoid conflict than face it. We’re also pretty content and easy to please. Like Sabahan women, we’ve got a pretty laid-back lifestyle, so nothing much can bother us.” – Amy Loh, procurement and business administrator.

Do you agree with these women? What are the common characteristics you identify with other women from your state? Let us know in the comments below!