A recent report claimed that the number of vehicles in Malaysia has now exceeded the country’s human population, but that figure may be in question. Former Transport Minister Liow Tiong Lai has rubbished the claim that the current number of registered vehicles now stood at over 33 million, as the reported figure was an accumulation of registered vehicles since the British colonial times.
Road Transport Department (JPJ) director-general Zailani Hashim revealed last November that there had been a total of 33.05 million vehicles registered since the department was incorporated 75 years ago. However, Liow said this number does not paint an accurate picture as it includes all registrations since then, not the actual number of vehicles active on the road today.
JPJ apparently does not practice an “end of life” policy for discarded and inactive vehicles, meaning that a car rusting in the junkyard would still be a registered vehicle. The former Transport Minister suggested that the department implement “death certificates” for dormant automobiles so that the country can know the actual number of active vehicles.
Liow also said that the department could use the latest road tax renewal records to gauge the figure. Adding to that, former JPJ director-general Abd Ghafar Yusof chimed in and said the department had always used the British colonial statistics to reflect the representation and ratio of deaths on the road against the number of vehicles in the country, calling attempts to change this practice “fruitless”.
To recap, Professor Dr Kulanthayan K.C. Mani of Universiti Putra Malaysia claimed in a report that the number of vehicles registered in Malaysia has outpaced the country’s population, standing at 33.3 million vehicles versus 32.6 million people. He also claimed that the number of registered vehicles has been growing by at least a million every year and that it was one of the main factors in the recent traffic congestion issues.
(Source: Free Malaysia Today)