The Sri Lanka Malay Association
The Sri Lanka Malay Association (SLMA) is an institution dedicated to serving the community through five key objectives. The objectives are driven to support the preservation of our cultural values, assist the less privileged of society in their welfare and education, document and preserve the Sri Lankan Malay heritage, and foster religious values. During the 97 years of its existence the institution has strived to meet its role with the help of the membership ensuring continuity from generation to generation. These objectives are passionately tasked by 05 committees. The literary & Cultural Affairs, Social Services, Religious Affairs, Womens Affairs - where the women folk are empowered to support the objectives of the institution; and Research/Documentation studies and Communication.
The SLMA the premier Malay institution in the country comprises a membership of 500. The General Council comprises 30 members including the President, Hony. Secretary and Hony. Treasurer. The General Council is elected to office every year at its AGM in the month of March.
The population of Malays as per the last census stands at 44,000. However the community estimates it as at not less than 75,000. This conclusion is due to the ambiguity of the data collecting process regards ethnicity since we are also identified as Muslims. The Malays are spread wide around the country.
The SLMA was established on the 22nd January 1922, which was known then as the All-Ceylon Malay Association ( ACMA). This was a time when senior’s of the community felt the need to develop a forum to protect and ensure its identity. Although Islamic by faith the community has its own cultural identity. The Muslims in Sri Lanka comprise of many ethnic races, each having their cultural life style. Within this plurality the SL Malays have a rich heritage as citizens of the country. In 1922 the population of Malays stood at around 15,000.
The SL Malays did have a forum way before but was centered towards sport. The formation of the Colombo Malay Cricket Club the first known Malay body was founded in 1872, where a band of ex-servicemen having willed the willow for the Ceylon Rifle Regiment ( also known as the Malay Regiment ) formed the cricket club. This was with the disbanding of the regiment by Her Majesty in 1871.
The founder President of the SLMA ( ACMA ) was the incumbent President of the Colombo Malay Cricket Club ( CMCC ). The SLMA (ACMA) was established on the 50th Anniversary of the CMCC, with Al Haj Dr. T.B Jayah Chairing the angus assembly and Saudara M.K Saldin as President elect. The Sultan of Johore was its first Patron. With the country becoming a Republic in 1972 the new name Sri Lanka Malay Association was adopted.