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Malaysia - Roads

Malaysia's road network covers 144,403 kilometres (89,728 mi), of which 116,169 kilometres (72,184 mi) is paved, and 1,821 kilometres (1,132 mi) is expressways. The longest highway of the country, the North-South Expressway, extends over 800 kilometres (497 mi) between the Thai border and Singapore. The road systems in Sabah and Sarawak are less developed and of lower quality in comparison to that of Peninsular Malaysia. Recently, the construction of Pan-Borneo Highway is approved under 2015 Malaysian Budget.  The highway project span 1,663 km (936 km in Sarawak, 727 km in Sabah) mostly mirror the existing trunk road, and it involves the widening of the present three-metre wide single-carriageway into a dual-carriageway. Driving on the left has been compulsory since the introduction of motor vehicles in Federated Malay States in 1903 during British colonial era.

Malaysian Federal Roads System 

Malaysian Federal Roads System, is the main national road network in Malaysia. All Federal Roads in Malaysia are under the purview of Ministry of Works (MOW). According to Minister's Function Act 1969, MOW responsible to plan, build and maintain all Federal Roads gazetted under the Federal Road Act 1959. However, most of the Federal roads' projects was built and maintained by the Malaysian Public Works Department (JKR) which are also one of the implementing agency under the MOW.

The total length of federal roads is 49,935 km.

Federal routes are labeled with only numbers. Both federal and state roads have blue road signs and the text colour is white.

Most of the federal roads in Malaysia are two-lane roads. Malaysia implements a right-hand driving system where drivers drive on the left side of the road. However, there are in certain places where additional lanes are available. In town areas, federal roads may become four-lane roads to increase traffic capacity. In hilly areas, additional third climbing lane is available for slower vehicles such as buses and lorries.

Some federal roads may have motorcycle lanes. On Malaysian federal roads, the motorcycle lanes are placed at the extreme left side of each direction and only separated from the main lanes by black-and-white stripes to enable motorcyclists to overtake slower motorcycles and to turn right to exit the road.

Some expressways in Malaysia such as Federal Highway and Skudai Highway are federally funded, therefore all federally funded expressways are also classified as federal roads.

Malaysian State Roads System

Malaysian State Roads System are the secondary roads in Malaysia. The construction of state roads in Malaysia is funded by Malaysian Public Works Department (JKR) of each state. The standard of state roads is similar with the federal roads except for the coding system, where the codes for state roads begin with state codes followed by route number, for example Johor State Route J32 is labeled as J32. If a state road crosses the state border, the state code will change, for example route B20 in Salak Tinggi, Selangor will change to N20 after crossing the border of Negeri Sembilan to Nilai.

Malaysian Expressway System

The Malaysian Expressway System is a network of national controlled-access expressways in Malaysia that forms the primary backbone network of Malaysian national highways. The network begins with the North-South Expressway (NSE), and is being substantially developed. Malaysian expressways are built by private companies under the supervision of the government highway authority, Malaysian Highway Authority .

The expressway network of Malaysia is considered the best controlled-access expressway network in Southeast Asia and also among the best network in Asia after China, Japan and South Korea.They were 30 expressways in the country and the total length is 1,821 kilometres (1,132 mi) and another 219.3 kilometres (136.3 mi) is under construction. The closed toll expressway system is similar to the Japanese Expressway System and Chinese Expressway System. All Malaysian toll expressways are controlled-access highway and managed in the Build-Operate-Transfer (BOT) system.

There are expressways in West Malaysia and East Malaysia, however, the former are better-connected. The North-South Expressway passes through all the major cities and conurbations in West Malaysia, such as Penang, Ipoh, the Klang Valley and Johor Bahru. The Pan Borneo Highway connects the Malaysian states of Sabah and Sarawak with Brunei.

The construction, standards, management and usage of expressways in Malaysia are subject to Federal Roads Act 1984. In Malaysia, expressways are defined as high-speed routes with at least four lanes (two in each direction) and should have full access control or partial access control. Most expressways in Malaysia are controlled-access expressways.

Expressways are defined as high-speed highways built under the JKR R6 rural highway standard, as dual-carriageways of at least 4 lanes (2 lanes per carriageway) with full access control, grade-separated interchanges and high design speed limit of 120 km/h, allowing the maximum speed limit of 110 km/h.

Highways, on the other hand, complement the national network of expressways and federal roads and built under the JKR R5 rural highway standard, with relatively high design speed limit of 100 km/h, allowing the maximum speed limit of 90 km/h. The highways are built with partial access control.

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