Transport and infrastructure in Malaysia

Our listing of the primary kinds of transport compares the infrastructure of Malaysia with the average of all countries in Asia. Overall, the main traffic and transport routes are well developed and in comparatively good condition.

In terms of the length of its rail network, Malaysia ranks 100th in the world with 0.06 meters per inhabitant. In total, the rail network is 1,851 kilometers long. Freight traffic on the rails most recently totaled 1.32 billion tons and kilometers traveled. Passenger traffic reached 2.32 billion passenger-kilometers in 2018.

The waterways listed refer to inland traffic on rivers and canals. The number of ports includes those located on the total 4,675 km of coastline. In 2020, about 26.66 million freight containers were transported.

Airports in Malaysia

Back to overview: Malaysia

Road traffic

The network of roads and highways has a total length of 144,403 km. For each of the country's 32.78 million inhabitants, this corresponds to 4.41 meters. This puts Malaysia in 116th place in the global ranking. However, the country's size and population density of around 99 inhabitants per km² must also be taken into account. Countries with fewer inhabitants on the same or even larger area naturally achieve quite different values here and have to connect remote areas to the transport network despite a smaller population.

With an average of 7209 traffic fatalities per year (2012 - 2019), road traffic in Malaysia is considered quite dangerous. This corresponds to around 4.3 accident fatalities per 23.3 inhabitants per year. By comparison, this figure is 12.2 in the USA and 17.1 worldwide.

In Malaysia, left-hand traffic is the rule on the roads, i.e. you drive in the left lane and overtake on the right. Oncoming traffic comes to meet you on the right side. Here you can also find an overview of all countries with left-hand traffic.



 totalper 1 mio
per km²
Roadways144,400 km4,405.73 km437.13 m
Railroads1,900 km56.47 km5.60 m
Waterways7,200 km219.67 km21.80 m
Commercial harbors1,76953.970.005


 total per 1 mio
per km²
Roadways14,699,500 km3,162.10 km459.66 m
Railroads280,000 km60.24 km8.76 m
Waterways260,300 km55.99 km8.14 m
Commercial harbors46,0549.910.001

Data sources used

Global Health Observatory Data Repository (World Health Organization)
Internation Union of Railways (UIC)
CIA Factbook
OECD Statistics
Wikipedia (german)
Malaysia: AirportsLargest airports and airlines in MalaysiaThe 30 biggest airports and 7 airlines in Malaysia with further information and data
Malaysia: ClimateClimate and temperature development in MalaysiaA climate analysis for Malaysia incl. temperatures, humidity, rain days per month, hours of sunshine, Water temperature, Rainfalls
Ranking: MegacitiesMega cities - the biggest cities all over the worldRanking of the biggest cities worldwide. On top: Shanghai, Chongqing and Beijing