I had an epiphany today. I am more convinced each day that one of the best ways to judge a population’s mentality is through the way they drive. Mind you, I’m not a good driver myself as some people would testify but I believe I respect traffic rules, I don’t pay bribes and I try to be courteous on the road.
Malaysian drivers, particularly those around Selangor and Kuala Lumpur (I can’t say much for the rest since I don’t live outside of these two regions) are known for these:
2) Driving out of the designated lane;
3) Driving on emergency lanes;
4) Ignoring red lights;
5) Reluctant to give way to pedestrians or other cars and worst of all, ambulances;
6) Driving on the wrong lane;
7) Impatient - they will terrorize you into giving up a parking space just because they don’t have the patience to wait for you to park;
8) Jumping queue at the traffic light;
9) No common sense or rather the sensitivity to move their car just a few inches forward so that the car behind can past through to make a turning;
10) Hogging a parking space which could easily fit one more car;
12) Stopping on a yellow box;
13) Dumping their cars on no-parking zones;
14) Blaming others for their own mistakes.
All in all, their driving habits indicate their self-centred, stubborn and ignorant attitude. Basically, the I-am-the-only-one-driving-on-the-road-and-there’s-no-one-else-so-I-don’t-give-a-fuck mentality.
Lately, I’ve noticed another trait and it’s even more disturbing. It’s the flocking-like-a-herd-of-sheep mentality. Most drivers don’t use their brains to form sound judgment. Instead, they tend to follow the drivers in front blindly and hence, causing a massive traffic jam unnecessarily.
I was waiting at a traffic light junction, the huge crossroads that split into the directions of Kuala Lumpur-Bangsar South-Klang-Bangsar. I noticed how all the cars were sticking to the two lanes on the right that lead to Bangsar South and Klang when it’s actually a 4-lane road. Nobody thought about moving to the left lanes.This has happened at other traffic junctions too simply because most drivers think that it’s best to stay on the right when you’re going to turn right (although it’s a 2-lane road which allows both to turn to the right).
In the end, who is to blame? We continue to think and behave like idiots because our law enforcement officers allow us to. All they care about is taking bribes because their superiors are too busy looking out for their own interest than paying them a decent salary.
If you want to understand how Malaysians are, just drive around the city.