Driving Issue: A Malaysian Problem

No matter which state you go to, you are bound to meet a lot of bad drivers on the road. It can be said that bad driving / bad drivers is part of the Malaysian identity. Should we really be proud of this? Most of the time, bad Malaysian driving can potentially cause hazards to other drivers. As such, here is the list of examples of common bad driving that you will face at least once in your lifetime driving in Malaysia.

The Driving Issue Examples:

Where is the signal light?

Driving Issue: A Malaysian Problem
Source: CNET

This bad driving is common no matter where you drive in Malaysia. Many Malaysian drivers will switch to another lane without using the signal light indicator. This method of driving itself is dangerous as the driver behind won’t know if the car in front is thinking of switching lanes. Fun fact, because it is common for drivers on the road to not use their signal light indicator, we have learnt to adapt to the situation by improving our situational awareness on the road. Somehow, we are able to tell if the car in front is looking to switch to another lane, even if their signal light indicator is not turned on.

It is said that the reason why Malaysian drivers don’t use the signal light is that the car behind will speed up and close the gap. Still, that is not a reason to use the signal light.

Want to switch lanes? No, you can’t.

Driving Issue: A Malaysian Problem

What is up with the “Kiasu” mentality we have here in Malaysia? It is not uncommon to experience this on Malaysian roads. Whenever you turn on your signal light to switch to another lane, the car behind will speed up to prevent you from switching to another lane. We really do not understand the thinking behind this driving where it is difficult to allow another car to pass through.

Having experienced this before on a motorbike, just imagine how fatal it would be if the car behind knocks a motorcyclist down because of its selfishness.

Wrong use of signal light indicator

Driving Issue: A Malaysian Problem
Source: Knowyourmeme

In order to express this frustration in a pure Malaysian tone. We will say:

“Which driving school did you go to?!”

Another driving issue on Malaysian roads is when a driver, for example, turns on the right signal light indicator but ends up turning left or vice versa. Let’s give the benefit of doubt that the driver is inexperienced. However, there is a dashboard on the car to show if the signal light is indicating to the right or left.

Intentionally driving slow to block you

Driving Issue: A Malaysian Problem

Probably the driver is doing this to release some steam after a long stressful day at work. This special occasion of a unique driving issue in Malaysia is when the driver in front of you will be driving slowly, and once the traffic light turns yellow, the driver will then speed up, causing you to get stuck behind the red light. Malaysians are creative when it comes to finding ways for cheap thrills. Anyhow, it is annoying when this happens to you.

Not stopping at a red light

Driving Issue: A Malaysian Problem

“Green means go, yellow means go faster, red means stop only when there is no police”

Another driving issue in Malaysia is not stopping at a red light. What is the rush? There have been numerous cases where a pedestrian was fatally killed because both drivers and motorcyclists do not intend to stop at a red light. This is why it can be scary to cross the road in Malaysia. Instead of looking in the left and right direction before crossing the road, we must look left and right at least 10 times to make sure there are no cars or motorcycles beating the red light.

Double Park Anywhere

Driving Issue: A Malaysian Problem
Source: NST

One of the reasons why the roads in Malaysia are prone to traffic congestion is due to other drivers double parking their cars on congested roads due to the convenience of themselves. Even Though the traffic police in Malaysia are doing the best they can to tackle the double parking issue, this problem does not seem like it will go away anytime soon.

VVIP coming through

Driving Issue: A Malaysian Problem
Source: Daily News Reported

This case usually happens on the highway. You think you are fast on the outside lane on the highway? Think again. There will be cars faster than you. Some cars on the fast lane on the highway have some sort of mentality that the highway belongs to them. If they want to get past you, the drivers will either flash high beam light at you, or the more dangerous way is they will tailgate you. This can be extremely dangerous if there is an incident in front of you which causes you to break. This will be a direct invitation for an accident. There are even some cases where a car flashes a high beam at a heavy vehicle.

We hope there will be stricter enforcement in dealing with tailgating at high speed on the highway in the future.


To conclude this article, the issue with bad driving in Malaysia is not a joke. Even though it may seem all fun and games for drivers who are intentionally doing all this. It can lead to serious injuries and death for them and the victim of the unfortunate incident. In the future, we hope there will be tighter law enforcement for hazard driving on the road, and there should also be a crackdown for drivers who passed their driving examination under the table way. Besides that, we also have to start tackling this issue through education. The best example we can follow is by using the Japanese driving model. Not only is driving safe in Japan, but the roads are also pedestrian-friendly where drivers will give way to pedestrians to cross the road.

Joshua Looi
Joshua Looi
Just a guy who love video games and making skits







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