M’sian roads ranked 12th worst & 2nd deadliest in the world; SG lands top spot for best roads globally

Image credit: FMT, Kurnia

From persistent rush-hour congestion to potholes and surface cracks, driving on Malaysian roads can often amount to become a less-than-desirable experience. But while we may know that from anecdotal evidence, American online driver’s education company Zutobi has since gone on to echo those sentiments through their study of the countries with the worst roads in the world, ranking Malaysia the 12th-worst out of a list of 59 nations.

Malaysia has the 12th-worst roads in the world 

Placing 48 out of 59 countries on the index, Malaysia scored 5.3 points for road quality from an assessment in 2019, with the standard of our local roadworks having apparently dropped by 5.19% in five years time. But that isn’t the end to the bad news either, as Malaysia also recorded a startlingly high road traffic accident death rate per 100,000 people, coming in at 22.76.

Malaysia has the 12th-worst roads in the world, according to a study by Zutobi. Image credit: FMT
Malaysia has the 12th-worst roads in the world, according to a study by Zutobi. Image credit: FMT

This makes Malaysia the second deadliest country to drive in on the list, after Saudi Arabia which recorded a figure of 36.13 according to Zutobi’s study. Across a number of other factors including the number of roads per 100,000km2, Malaysia recorded an overall index score of only 3.32.

Singapore ranks No.1

Malaysia is also the second country with the most dangerous roads to drive on. Image credit: Kurnia
Malaysia is also the second country with the most dangerous roads to drive on. Image credit: Kurnia

However, our neighbours across the Causeway fared considerably better than we did, with the island nation of Singapore securely cinching the top spot with an overall index score of 9.44. According to the company, the country was the only one out of the list to obtain a score higher than 9/10.

“It has the best road quality, as well as the fewest road traffic deaths, 1.69 per 100,000 people.” they wrote.

This was followed by the Netherlands with 8.62, Switzerland at 8.58, Japan at 8.41, and Denmark at 7.59.

As for the lowest ranked nation on the list, Kuwait finds itself on the very bottom of the index with an overall score of 1.33, and saw a drastic decrease of road quality in five years by a whopping 20.09%.

Works Ministry refutes the Zutobi study 

However, the Works Ministry has since gone on to refute the findings obtained from the Zutobi study according to local paper theSun Daily, saying that it is ‘inaccurate, misleading and gives a negative perception of the overall quality of roads in Malaysia.’ They have pointed out that in a separate study based on the road quality rankings issued by The Global Economy using the data obtained from the Global Competitiveness Index showed that Malaysia placed in the Top 21 countries for best roads in the world.

“The study also cited authentic sources from an executive study involving 14,000 business leaders from 144 countries who participated in the World Economic Forum based in Davos, Switzerland,” the Ministry said in a statement.

What’s more, they have gone on to assert that the Ministry makes an effort to keep track of all published research reports to serve as a checks and balances, thus ensuring that they can deliver the best services to Malaysians.

“There are various ongoing commitments carried out by KKR, specifically in maintaining the quality of roads in the country. These maintenance works are focused on Federal Roads, totalling 20,017 kilometres.

“KKR also received over RM900,000 in allocations for road maintenance costs throughout the country. As of August, 6,656 pothole repairs have been conducted,” they added.

This is on top of other initiatives such as the Zeropotholes movement that was kick-started back in 2016, and the Kita Jaga Jalan Kita Campaign from 2021, which has sparked continued efforts in road quality maintenance.

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Also read: Sandakan residents fix up road strewn with potholes themselves after getting tired of waiting for solution from govt

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