Malays in Malaysia are Arabicizing themselves to certain extent. in the 70s to end of 80s it was a rare occasion to see Malay women wearing headscarf.
In fact none of a female family members wore a headscarf. It was a strange sight if we ever saw a woman with that kind of dress.
Similarly, we said Berbuka Puasa instead of Iftar. Sembahyang instead of Solat. Selamat Hari Jadi (meaning Happy Birthday) instead of Sanah Helwa. Hari Raya instead of Eid Al Fitri.
It all started in the late 70s when Anwar Ibrahim a very influence member of parliament had introduced Dasar Penerapan Nilai Nilai Islam (translated loosely as Assimilation of Islamic Values).It started with reciting of doa at school assembly and goverment’s meeting. Adding new syllabus to school text book with islamic values.
When the government started to send more students to Middle East countries to further studies, the whole thing would add up to the mathematics.
Off course the result was not immediate. It’s happening now. The Malays feel they are more Islamic if they can speak Arabic. This is evident from the fact that Arabic classes are mushrooming in Malaysia.
Not only language, fashion has also been affected. More and more women & men are wearing Abaya type of dress. The National Dress ie Baju Melayu, Baju Kurung or Baju Kebaya has lost its appeal to the Malays.