Saturday, September 5, 2009

Malaysians drive me crazy!

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:

1) Double-parking;

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.


  1. Thanks for writing about BODY 2 BODY :-) Much appreciated!
    Just some corrections: Shanon's piece isn't about gay Muslims, but about how contemporary Islamists deal with any kind of difference. And certainly not all the writers are LGBTQs themselves ;-)

  2. I am not sure if it is worst here. I think it is worst here because the police force is actually highly paid and doesn't take bribe. But people driving in this region, particularly, Pakistanis, Indians and Arabs do these:
    - Undertaking
    - Driving at hard shoulder
    - Turning at the outer lane
    - Drive super fast
    - Tail-gating
    - Running down pedestrians and kill them
    - Double parking
    - Triple parking
    - I can go on and on :)

  3. ok, i posted a comment, a long one, but it didn't work. i give up.

  4. Thanks, Amir for pointing this out.

    I'll make the corrections and two thumbs up for the book. Hope to see more publications like this.

  5. 888, it might then reflect on the mentalities of those nationalities you pointed out. I believe corruptions are major issues there as well.

  6. Being a victim of selfish parking every week because I live near a wet market, I can identify with your complaints. The worse is that these selfish assholes are not driving the small cars but Mercedes, BMW and 4WD which takes up half the road space when they simply park but do they care?

  7. Ms. Kong Piang,

    someone wrote this on the paper (can't remember where and who):

    Malaysia is a first world democracy with third class mentality. Singapore is a third class democracy with first class mentality.

    Now, I don't know how Singaporeans drive but I've been told and read that it has one of the cleanest administrations in the world.

    Those with Mercs, etc. can afford to pay bribes, summons, mah. Got dato plate on them or not?

  8. We have most of these problems here on Malta too - tail-gating is a particular favourite. Also, one of the island's best cyclists was killed by a driver at around 5 am one morning a few weeks ago (it was already light at that time in the summer). Other favourite activities are bus drivers who drive with one hand and use the other for smoking or texting or calling; drivers from different directions who stop to talk to each other in the middle of the road; bus drivers who slow down but don't stop, so the passenger has to leap off a moving vehicle.... etc etc!!!

  9. Thanks Nicky for sharing your experience in Malta.

    Do you find that these traffic behaviours in any way relate to the Maltese's mentality or the ineffectiveness of the law enforcement authorities in general?