Cars have evolved a lot since its invention back in the 1900s, where the Ford Model T had only 20 horsepower and a top speed of 72km/h, compared to the latest iteration of our national favourite Perodua Myvi having 102 horsepower and achieving speeds of 180km/h and above. So why is it that cars are getting faster, coupled with higher safety standards, but are still subject to the speed limits enforced a long time ago?


Our national speed limit was first enforced in 1989, with a max 110km/h speed limit on expressways and varies with the terrain. There is no documented reason on why 110km/h was decided as the speed limit here in Malaysia, but common theories suggest that it was to match the speed limit of other countries at the time like the United Kingdoms, which has had a speed limit of 70mp/h implemented since 1934, and when rounded is approximately 110km/h.

Why not make changes?

There have been many proposals over the years for the government to increase the speed limits, but all of them have been rejected time after time citing safety concerns.

There have also been a decrease in speed limits during the festive season, but have not been received well by the public as research shows that there isn’t much correlation between lower speed limits and accident rates.

Other speed limits

Federal and State roads have a lower speed limit at 90km/h, and are reduced to 60km/h in town areas as well as school areas. Heavy vehicles also have a lower speed limit, and can be seen stickered on the bottom left at the rear of heavy vehicles. There are road signs notifying of speed limits, so make sure you pay attention when you drive, and navigation systems such as Waze will inform you of the speed limit on the road you’re currently driving on.