Malaysia’s Road Rules Are Weird: Here’s FOUR of Them
We recently stumbled upon an amusing and very relevant article by Ask Legal, an online Malaysian publication which peruses the laws of the country and writes them in an easy-to-understand way for the layperson. The article, which had been vetted by a practicing lawyer, brought our attention to road rules that most drivers in Malaysia are probably bending, breaking or not using to our full advantage:
1. You MAY NOT steer with one hand whilst the other is holding…A GIRL.
There is a Discourtesy (/dɪsˈkəːtəsi/: rude and inconsiderate behaviour) Section under the Malaysian Highway Code. Nice to know that discourtesy is actually unlawful behaviour, and the Code lists a few examples: hooting unnecessarily; driving through puddles at speed and splashing pedestrians; and steering with one hand, the other holding the roof – or a girl. Yes, that’s what it says.
But it says nothing about holding a boy, so…
2. Your right of way doesn’t necessarily mean you are right.
Even if you had the right of way and somehow ended up crashing into a car, you are still in the wrong if you could have avoided it. Say you saw another car making a turn and insisted on “claiming” your right of way and drove into that car, you are still in the wrong.
But what makes this point interesting is how it was elaborated in the Highway Code…in poem:
“Here lies the body of Jonathan Gray,
Who died maintaining his right of way,
He was quite in right as he sped along,
But he’s just as dead as if he’d been wrong.”
3. DO NOT stand around the sidewalk GOSSIPING.
It’s best to gossip behind closed doors, of course, so the Highway Code says:
“If you must stand and gossip, do so away from all traffic, including foot traffic. It is discourteous to force others to walk around you, and dangerous to everyone to force them onto the road.”
So, if a bunch of gossipers are blocking the pedestrian walkway, feel free to call the police:
4. If no policeman is present, IMAGINE ONE.
The Highway Code states that turning at a junction in a reckless or inconsiderate manner is unlawful. If there is a traffic policeman present and controlling the traffic at the junction, then you must “go around the policeman into the correction line of traffic. If there is not policeman then imagine there is one (emphasis added)…”
Who knew that the author(s) of the Malaysian Highway Code was a poet with a sense of humour! This article is not sponsored by Ask Legal— we thought it was just too good to not pass along. To read AL’s more detailed (but longer, with one more rule pertaining to cyclists) article, go here.