Malaysia Road Network

By | October 31, 2022

The immense highway network of the Klang Valley conurbation.

According to wholevehicles, Malaysia has a well-developed road network in Malacca, on Borneo this is clearly less. The country has one of the larger highway networks in Asia, and the most developed after Japan, South Korea and China. The highway network is 1,931 kilometers long. People drive on the left in Malaysia. The motorway network is continuously expanded, and are often toll roads. There are no real highways on Borneo, although the Malaysian road network there is considerably better developed than on the Indonesian part. As of December 1, 2014, the fuel subsidy in Malaysia has been abolished.

Kuala Lumpur

The metropolis of Kuala Lumpur has more than 6 million inhabitants and is growing very fast. As a result, the city’s highway network is also very extensive, with countless highways that almost all have 2×3 lanes. Between many suburbs are 2 to 4 parallel highways. In the urban area there are approximately 700 kilometers of highway, almost all of which are toll roads, 602 kilometers of which are managed by Lembaga Lebuhraya Malaysia. In addition, there are expressways, which are another 50 kilometers long, mainly existing in and around the center, including 2 ring roads around the center. The structure of the highway network is radial in character, with various bypasses and suburban tangents. There are 4 north-south highways between Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya and 4 east-west highways between Klang and Kuala Lumpur. About 4 highways form a bypass function on the west side of the city. There is no ring structure, except for the two underlying ring roads around Kuala Lumpur. The suburb of Kajang does have a complete ring road.


The first 2×2 road opened in Malaysia in 1961. Although this was not yet a real highway, it was the impetus for the development of a highway network. On March 16, 1966, the Tanjung Malim – Slim River Toll Road, part of Federal Route 1, opened Malaysia ‘s first toll road. This too was not yet a real highway, the first highway was Federal Route 2 between Port Klang and Kuala Lumpur, and opened to traffic in 1967. In 1973 this road was further upgraded and widened to 2×3 and 2×4 lanes.

The construction of a larger highway network started with the construction of the North-South Expressway in 1977. In 1979 the Genting Sempah tunnel opened, together with the Kuala Lumpur – Karak Expressway (E8), a spectacular winding highway through the Malacca mountains of Kuala Lumpur to Karak. This was also the first real road tunnel in Malaysia. In 1980, the Malaysian Highway Authority (MHA) was established to oversee the construction of the highways and main roads. On January 2, 1982, Malaysia switched from the Imperial to the Metric system, requiring all signs to be adjusted for meters and kilometers. That same year, the Kuala Lumpur-Seremban Expressway E37. openedfor traffic. A program to build highways around Kuala Lumpur also began in the 1980s in response to rapidly increasing prosperity and car ownership. In 1985 the Penang Bridge opened, a 13.5 kilometer long toll bridge over which the E36 runs.

During the 1980s, new highways and toll roads were opened, and existing Federal routes were also widened to 2×2 lanes, although these are not freeways due to the many yard connections. On February 1, 1989, a speed limit was introduced; 110 km/h on highways and 90 km/h outside built-up areas. On September 8, 1994, the North-South Expressway, a 966-kilometer highway, was completed. On March 11, 1996, the first bridge restaurant across a highway opened in Malaysia. A year later, in 1997, the Touch ‘n Go electronic toll system went into effect. On April 18, 1998, the second Malaysia- Singapore link opened, also being one of the first highway border crossings in Asia. On March 15, 1999 it became SmartTAGsystem, as a supplement to the previously introduced Touch ‘n Go toll system. From 2010, the Multi Lane Free Flow system will be introduced, whereby separate lanes for electronic toll systems are built at toll stations, so that people no longer have to brake.

Expressways in Malaysia
E1 • E2 • E3 • E5 • E6 • E7 • E8 • E9 • E10 • E11 • E12 • E13 • E14 • E15 • E17 • E18 • E19 • E20 • E21 • E22 • E23 • E24 • E25 • E26 • E27 • E28 • E29 •E30 • E31 • E32 • E33 • E35 • E36 • E37 • E38
Asian Highways in Malaysia
AH2 • AH18 • AH140 • AH141 • AH142 • AH143 • AH150

Road numbering

Highways, called Expressways, have the prefix E followed by the number. The expressways are numbered from E1 to E99. Federal routes have no prefix and are numbered from 1 to 999. Road numbers of the various states have a prefix of the state, for example the J32 is located in the state of Johor. There is no clear system in road numbering. The main north-south axis has the numbers E1 and E2.


A portal sign in Malaysia.

Most signage is in Malaysian, but English is also used.

Highways have green signposts with white text. Exits are numbered sequentially, which means that high exit numbers can occur. The signage is British, with fork signs without a real arrowhead. Exits are indicated in full with “EXIT 805” with black letters in a yellow area. The green highway symbol is used, accompanies with the text “Lebuhraya”, which is Malaysian for highway.

Signage on the underlying road network consists of blue signs with white letters. The font used is, just like on the highways, Highway Gothic, also called Interstate. At intersections, both control boards and arrow signposts are used, following the British model.

Mileage markers are green square areas containing the road number shield and below the value in kilometers. Distance signs contain important targets followed by the indication in kilometers, with the text “km” after the value, similar to that in Germany.

Malaysia Road Network