Road signs in Malaysia: what do they all mean?

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Nearly all road signage in Malaysia is solely in Bahasa Malaysia, so you’ll need to learn a few keywords and phrases to help make your driving experience here a little less stressful.

Here are some common signs you may see on the roads and what they mean:

tol - sahaja

Sahaja = Only

At toll plazas, there are dedicated toll booth lanes Touch ‘n Go and Smart Tags. Drivers without either should look for Tunai, which are cash lanes.

perhentian teksi

Perhentian teksi = Taxi stand

If the word sahaja is added, it indicates the lane or area can be used by taxis and/or buses (bas) only.

motorcycle lane

Kurangkan laju = Reduce speed

This also shows an entry point for a dedicated motorcycle lane.

jalan and lorong

Jalan / Lorong = Road / Lane

Jalan: Road or street, in this case Riong Road. Lorong: Lane, here it’s Terasek Lane 1.


Peringatan = Reminder

A reminder that the speed limit on this stretch is 70kph. In built-up areas where there are no signs, it is generally reasonable to assume the limit is 50kph.

zon tunda

Zon tunda = Tow zone

Parking here will result in your car being towed. Except probably not really, as we have found this warning is rarely and erratically enforced. However, park at your own risk… especially if there’s room for a tow truck in front of your car!


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kawasan perumahan

Awas = Caution

These signs indicate you are in a residential area (kawasan perumahan). It urges caution and reduced speed (kurangkan laju) because people could be walking or cycling and there are speed bumps.

dilarang menjaja

Dilarang = Prohibited

In this case, no vendor/hawker selling allowed in this area.

beri laluan

Beri laluan = Give way

Motorists should give way to other vehicles.

u turn kecuali kenderaan berat


This sign indicates that cars are allowed to U-turn, except those that weigh five tons or more.


Denda = Fine

This sign indicates that parking is prohibited sepanjang masa – at all times- failing which a fine (denda) of RM500 will be incurred.

motorcycle shelter

Motorcycle shelter

A sign at one of the new shelters to ensure motorcyclists do not stop under bridges when it rains. However, not all shelters have this signage so always take care when driving under bridges in heavy rain.


Motorcycle-only parking

Parking is only permitted for motorcycles. An indication is when the street is marked with small spaces.

highway signboard - green

Highway signs

Yellow lettering: road name (eg. Lebuhraya Persekutuan, or Federal Highway). White lettering: town or area. Green lettering on white background: building or attraction. Areas or roads are noted by distance with the nearest at the bottom.

rest stop

Rest stops

There are regular places to stop along the highway. The signs show what facilities are available at the next rest stop. This one offers parking, a prayer room, food, toilets, public telephone, petrol,and an ATM machine.

electronic messages

Electronics message boards

Electronic message boards are placed on major roads. This one says, “Traffic Jam From PJ Hilton to LDP” – just in case you couldn’t already tell by all the cars surrounding you.

Other road related things to remembers

speed bump

Speed bumps

Practice caution when driving over speed bumps, as some are very steep. Look for tell-tale gouges in the roadway because of cars smashing back onto the road after going over the speed bump too fast.

traffic police

Traffic police

Traffic Police make regular rounds and issue summonses for those who park illegally.


Patrol service

Sadly, accidents on highways involving buses and heavy trucks are not uncommon. Many toll roads have ronda, or patrol service vehicles to assist with accidents, breakdowns, or other emergencies.

rainy road

Driving in the rain

Driving on rainy nights presents many hazards, and keeping your distance is particularly important if you want to avoid joining a multiple car pile-up.

Basic Bahasa Words

Bahasa Malaysia English
Utara North
Selatan South
Timur East
Barat West
Pusat Bandaraya City Centre
Di hadapan Ahead
Dilarang Memotong No Overtaking
Had Laju Speed Limit
Ikut Kanan Keep Right
Ikut Kiri Keep Left
Jalan Sehala One-way Street
Keluar Exit
Masuk Entry
Kenderaan Dilarang Masuk No Entry (for Vehicles)
Kurangkan Laju Slow Down
Lencongan Detour
Liku Tajam Sharp Bends
Pandu Cermat Drive Cautiously
Tolong isi tangki penuh Please fill up the tank
Tolong periksa tayar Please check the tyres
Kereta saya rosak I’m having car trouble
Minta tolong A little help please…
Bahasa Malaysia English

The ExpatGo Guide to Driving in Malaysia – Index

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