Malaysia

Driving

The left is correct side of the road on which to drive in Malaysia. This might be expected in an ex-British territory, although it is not universally true as the example of Belize proves. As is usual driving in a major town or the capital city of a country is not typical of driving between main centres. Kuala Lumpur, the cpital city, is crowded and busy. A piece by Sophia, a writer for Streetdirectory, Malaysia, confirms this assessment of driving in Malaysia. Humour can tell stories about many things and situations. Although not strictly factual the BackpackingMalaysia site contains many points that may have a basis of truth or which may be the result of keen observation coloured by a good imagination. In a similar vein are the comments in TravelGuide Malaysia site which also emphasizes the presence of motorcycles in Malaysia. Roger Crowhurst, a regular contributor to the New Straits Times, and a resident of Malaysia gives less than complimentary comments about Malaysian drivers. Some notice should be taken of Crowhurst’s views given his experience in the country, his status as a trained advanced driver and his service with the London Metropolitan Police.

Driving Licenses

More formal and factual advice is also available. The Auto-Europe site is particularly concerned with car hire but it does give some practical comments. The @llo’ Expat Malaysia site also gives practical help on the subject of obtaining a driving license in Malaysia. Malaysia allows generous periods during which it is legal to drive using a foreign license. It may be noted that the holding of an International Driving Permit is of great value in this country as it is in many others.

Ideally it is useful if a current driving license valid in the home country can be exchanged for a Malaysian license. This is not always the case in Malaysia. There are two procedures by which a currently held driving license can be exchanged for a Malaysian license. The Angloinfo site contains a link to a Malaysian Government pdf file which specifies countries and procedures for which the obtaining of an exchange driving license can be done. The document lists the countries for which exchange is automatic and those for which, though not automatic, it is possible.

The links under the "Resources" tab on this site and the book "How to Retire in Malaysia" by Les Johns explore these subjects. The book can be obtained directly from this site.