Many Malaysians would agree that there are many unique types of drivers you can find on the road. Not to mention the many unwritten rules which Malaysians have to invent to navigate their way around these drivers.
Recently, a Malaysian netizen named Vel Muruga, took to his Facebook to share “tips” on how to drive correctly in Penang and provided a guide with 12 tips that many Penangites could relate to. His post garnered over 2,800 shares, 2,500 likes and 990 comments at the time of writing. Here’s what he had to say:
1. Pronunciation of “Penang”
According to Vel, the first step is to learn how to pronounce the island name correctly. The right way is to pronounce it as ‘PE-nang’, and not ‘Puh-nang’.
“Old-timers are still allowed to call it ‘peNAng,” he added.
2. Rush Hour Timing
Rush hour timing in Penang isn’t the same as KL or other cities.
“The morning rush hour is from 6:00 am to noon. The evening rush hour is from noon to 8:00 pm. Friday’s rush hour starts on Thursday morning,” Vel wrote in his post.
3. Never drive too slow
Vel said that the minimum acceptable speed on the coastal highway is 80km/h.
“Anything less is considered ‘Babi’,” he added.
4. Unwritten traffic rules
According to Vel, Penang has its own version of traffic rules to follow.
“Mercedes, BMW, Alphard owned by Datuks will remain on the far right lane. Myvi/ Proton or any heavily modified cars will be on the third lane. One-ton lorries and trucks should occupy the second lane. Motorbikes and any car doing less than 60km/h share the left lane,” he wrote in his post.
“The emergency lanes are really designed just for the assholes and taxis… sometimes the emergency vehicles use it,” he added.
5. Get attacked by stopping at a yellow light
A yellow traffic light usually means you should slow down. But, you know that’s not the case with many of us Malaysians – especially Penangites.
“If you actually stop at a yellow light or stop sign, you will be rear-ended, cussed out, and possibly attacked with a steering lock. Unless there is a police car nearby,” Vel said.
6. Honking leads to fighting
In Penang, Vel said to think twice before honking as it would lead to a fight.
“Never honk at anyone unless you are prepared to start a fight,” he added.
7. Watch out for road construction
In Penang, there’s always some sort of road construction going on.
“Road construction is permanent and continuous. Detour barrels are moved around for your entertainment during the middle of the night to make the next day’s driving a bit more exciting,” Vel said.
“Generally, city roads other than the main streets have more potholes and bumps (usually speed bumps) than most dirt roads in the East Malaysia.”
8. Watch out for road hazards
Besides road construction, there are other road hazards to keep an eye out for.
“Watch carefully for road hazards such as dogs and cats, open burning, temple chariots, double parks, triple parks, Friday prayer traffics, metal tins to secure parking, ammoi standing in the middle of parking waiting for her friend and jaywalkers that come out of nowhere,” Vel wrote.
9. Georgetown or George Town?
Vel also pointed out that at times, roads signs may change the spelling of George Town.
“Be aware of the spelling of Georgetown that may change from road sign to road sign, e.g., Georgetown and George Town.”
10. Accidentally activating car signal
If you’ve ever driven in Malaysia, you’d soon come to realise that most drivers annoyingly don’t use their signal indicators even if they want to cut into lanes or make abrupt turns. This behaviour is so common that Vel hilariously pointed out if you see a Penang driver actually turning on their signal, it’s probably an accident!
“If someone actually has their signal turned on, wave them to the shoulder immediately to let them know it has been “accidentally activated”.”
11. Don’t drive slow on the right lane
Vel advised road users in Penang to never drive “too slow” on the right lane.
“If you are in the right lane and only driving 90 in an 80 kmh zone, you are considered a road hazard and will be “flipped off” accordingly,” he said.
“If you return the flip, you’ll be called a babi.”
12. Out of state drivers should apologize
According to Vel, the best tip for out-of-state drivers to do is apologize if other drivers on the road seem unhappy…even if you don’t know why you’re in the wrong!
“For out-of-state drivers, it is advisable to apologize whenever another driver stares at you even though you don’t know what you apologizing for.”
Netizens reaction to the post
Many Malaysians and Penangites found Vel’s Facebook post relatable. Some even shared tips of their own!
What are your thoughts on these “tips”? Let us know in the comment section below!