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:
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 = Taxi stand
If the word sahaja is added, it indicates the lane or area can be used by taxis and/or buses (bas) only.
Kurangkan laju = Reduce speed
This also shows an entry point for a dedicated motorcycle lane.
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 = 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!
Right B ads goes here
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.
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.
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.
Parking is only permitted for motorcycles. An indication is when the street is marked with small spaces.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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
|Kenderaan Dilarang Masuk
|No Entry (for Vehicles)
|Tolong isi tangki penuh
|Please fill up the tank
|Tolong periksa tayar
|Please check the tyres
|Kereta saya rosak
|I’m having car trouble
|A little help please…
The ExpatGo Guide to Driving in Malaysia – Index
"ExpatGo welcomes and encourages comments, input, and divergent opinions. However, we kindly request that you use suitable language in your comments, and refrain from any sort of personal attack, hate speech, or disparaging rhetoric. Comments not in line with this are subject to removal from the site. "
Indonesia Rolls Out New Five-Year Multiple Entry Visa Option
The move was made in a bid to spur more tourism and give travellers additional flexibility – but it’s expensive. Indonesia has...
Looking Good at 77: A Brief History of Malaysia Airlines
The national carrier has navigated some extremely challenging years and now looks poised to enter a period of growth and profitability. As...
First Thoughts on the Latest MM2H Programme Revision
The newest iteration of revisions to the MM2H programme has pleased many industry insiders and observers, but left just as many curious,...
0Food & Drink
Cheers to a Bolder Tomorrow with Tiger this Year of the Dragon
Tiger Beer encourages everyone to roar into the Year of the Dragon with boldness and is ushering in the new year with...
Three Tiers, Streamlined Application Process: New ‘Relaxed’ MM2H Programme Announced
The release of the newest version of the Malaysia My Second Home programme looks a lot different than 2021’s ill-fated version. Fresh...
0Travel News & Updates
Amid Endless Talk of Reducing Subsidies, Malaysia Now Set to Subsidize Holiday Flights
The announcement of a RM599 price cap is sure to be wildly popular with anyone booking festive season flights to East Malaysia....
Malaysia Dominates in Top ASEAN University Rankings
Overall, an impressive half of the top 10 private and top 10 public universities in the whole of Southeast Asia are found...
Malaysia’s Easygoing East Coast
Just a three-hour drive from Kuala Lumpur will have you on the eastern coast of Peninsular Malaysia. The towns of Kuantan and...
Shoes Off! Why This Is the Norm in Asia – and Why It’s Beneficial
Though it may seem unusual to many Western expats – at least at first – the practice of removing shoes before entering...
0Careers and Employment
How Can Expats Avoid Career Remorse?
Maximum career fulfilment and achievement can be yours when you are in an industry that you truly enjoy on an emotional level....