We have analyzed 16 Y-STR loci (DYS456, DYS389I, DYS390, DYS389II, DYS458, DYS19, DYS385a/b, DYS393, DYS391, DYS439, DYS635 or Y-GATA C4, DYS392, Y-GATA H4, DYS437, DYS438 and DYS448) from the non-recombining region of the human Y-chromosome in 980 male individuals from three main ethnic populations in Malaysia (Malay, Chinese, Indian) using the AmpFlSTR((R)) Y-filertrade mark (Applied Biosystems, Foster City, CA). The observed 17-loci haplotypes and the individual allele frequencies for each locus were estimated, whilst the locus diversity, haplotype diversity and discrimination capacity were calculated in the three ethnic populations. Analysis of molecular variance indicated that 88.7% of the haplotypic variation is found within population and 11.3% is between populations (fixation index F(ST)=0.113, p=0.000). This study has revealed Y-chromosomes with null alleles at several Y-loci, namely DYS458, DYS392, DYS389I, DYS389II, DYS439, DYS448 and Y-GATA H4; and several occurrences of duplications at the highly polymorphic DYS385 loci. Some of these deleted loci were in regions of the Y(q) arm that have been implicated in the occurrence of male infertility.