9 Auto-related Facts that will make you go “Malaysia Boleh!”
A country is like family – it might not be perfect but you love it anyway. So, as Malaysia turns 60 come August 31st, let’s look at some of her achievements and superlative qualities (automotive-related, of course) that whould make any Malaysian proud:
Sepang International Circuit was built on reclaimed swamp. Yes, a SWAMP. And this is one of the reasons why the Sepang circuit is one of the most unique and EXCITING race venues in the world of motorsports. Bumps have naturally emerged on the track over time, making races at Sepang always unpredictable.
The Second Penang Bridge, or Jambatan Sultan Abdul Halim Muadzam Shah, is 24 kilometres long, making it the longest bridge in South East Asia. Not that Malaysia is earthquake-prone (sentuh kayu!) but it can withstand earthquakes of up to 7.5 magnitude.
It is not an exaggeration to say that the SMART Tunnel is an engineering marvel. It was dug with two giant boring machines, which themselves were an engineer’s wet dream; the concrete used is bomb-bunker-worthy and the tunnel received an award from the United Nations.
Read our earlier article on the SMART Tunnel.
The total length of all the roads (federal, state and municipality roads, and toll highways) is 82,144* kilometres. And if you can’t wrap you head around that, that’s more than twice the circumference of the Earth’s equator.
This might not be something that you’d think we should be proud of: Malaysia has the third high rate of car ownership in the world. Yes, yes, it also explains why we have awful traffic jams and is a sign that the public transport system is lacking. BUT…it is also a sign of rising income and the attainment of financial means to afford a vehicle. So, er, it’s swings and roundabouts?
So, despite its less than stellar track record and the fact that it is now partially owned by the Chinese, PROTON was the first national-owned car in South East Asia when it was launched in 1983. So, whadaya say, folks? Let’s give it kudos for once being the pride of the nation.
And who knows, with Geely on board, it might once again shine.
So, let’s talk about the substance that powers most cars (though not for much longer) – crude oil. Malaysia is sitting on a huge reserve of damn good quality oil, aka Tapis crude, which is the most expensive in the market, another example of how rich in natural resources our country is.
We actually have road signs like these because we have all sorts of adorable/interesting/amazing indigenous animals and we live as one with nature (as much as we possibly can).
Yes, we also have to have signs like the “Berhati-hati dengan peragut” one, but let’s stay on the sunny side of the street because it’s our country’s birthday.
A couple of info bytes on our airports. Once upon a time, the Subang International Airport, later renamed the Sultan Abdul Aziz Shah Airport, boasted the longest runway in the region – all 3.7 kilometres. You snort derisively, but that was impressive back then. Then, of course, KLIA was opened in 1998.
KLIA has all the features of a world-class airport, but what others don’t have that it does is a piece of native forest. The trees and plants were transplanted from somewhere in Sepang to the inside of the airport. So, essentially, it’s a jungle in an airport in a jungle! The next time you are in KLIA, pop by the KLIA Jungle Boardwalk for a breather before hopping onto the plane.