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The New Muslim Consumer Report: 1 in 3 Southeast Asian Muslims more devout than parents

Neelam Rahim | neelam@radioislam.co.za

4 min read | 15:53 CAT

A survey has found that one in three Muslims in Southeast Asia consider themselves more religious than their parents were at their age, with their faith informing decisions around personal spending, fashion, banking, travel and education.

Just 21 per cent of the region’s 250 million Muslims say they are less observant than their parents were, while 45 per cent consider themselves just as devout, according to the New Muslim Consumer report released on Wednesday.

A strong relationship with Allah is essential for 91 per cent of Southeast Asian Muslims, on par with health and just ahead of family, according to the Wunderman Thompson Intelligence and VMLY&R Malaysia report.

Speaking to Radio Islam International, APAC Director, Wunderman Thompson Intelligence, Chen May Yee, said Wunderman Thompson Intelligence is a consumer trends research company that conducts in-depth dive reports around four times a year. Into significant shifts that are seen, whether technological or demographic change.

Malaysia and Indonesia have recognised that the halaal economy and exports are potentially significant drivers for the economy.

It was also found that most households continue to be led by males. Females are becoming breadwinners in a significant minority of families. May Yee said it was found that 72 per cent of male respondents describe themselves as head of the household, and 42 per cent of females said they provide the most financial support.

There are also findings on how important the concept of halaal is in purchases.

According to May Yee, the most important is products that go into the body as well as on the body.

However, for some things that are a little more abstract such as banking, May Yee said Shariah compliance is also essential but not the most important.

Different levels in how important halaal is can be seen for purchasing decisions.

One thousand adults over 18 were surveyed. The youngest is 18 going up to 70 years old, equal between males and females across Malaysia and Indonesia.

She says, “We do think that as we look at Muslims in South East Asia, a lot of the trends have implications for Muslim minorities in other parts of the world as well.”

Listen below to the interview with Mufti Yusuf Moosagie and Chen May Yee on Radio Islam’s podcast.



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