The question of Xenon Lights or those white, blinding lights, have been a bone of contention amongst Malaysian drivers for quite some time now. Finally, the Road Transport Department (RTD), has finally seen it fit to come out with an elaborate explanation for the public’s perusal.

Can xenon lights, or High Intensity Discharge Lights (HID) be used in our country, Malaysia? Up until now, no one seems to know whether the above lights are legal or otherwise.

But the Road transport Department has finally come up with an article, entitled Approved H.I.D. Lights OK in the The Star newspaper of Thursday, 12th January edition. It’s a good article indeed. And what was more surprising was, it came from the Director-general of the department itself, Datuk Solah Mat Hassan.

With the above article, at least the public would now be able to decipher, if it is legal or not to see xenon or high intensity-lights being used by many cars, especially, luxury models, on our Malaysian roads.

First and foremost, the RTD advises that there are actually 2 types of these troublesome lights currently used by Malaysian motorists today.
These lights are:

i. Factory fitted H.I.D. lights.
ii. Retrofitted lights, which are normally stalled at most accessory shops outside.

The public should be reminded that the latter ones are considered ILLEGAL! At least, Malaysian motorists now know!

Many motorists, including myself, will no longer curse the on coming vehicles fitted with those white, blinding xenon head lamps unnecessarily. For all you know, the driver of the vehicle, may not be committing an offence at all!

In this article, the Director-general of the RTD, Datuk Solah Bin Mat Hassan, reiterated that the 269 vehicle models with factory fitted H.I.D. lights have all been cleared by his department. However, this does not mean that owners can rush to accessory shops to have their vehicles fitted with such lights.

The Transport Department wishes to inform the public, that any new vehicle make or model, entering the Malaysian market has to undergo the V.T.A. or the Vehicle Type Approval test.

The RTD said the V.T.A. test is meant to ascertain that the construction of a vehicle conforms with international standards, especially the UNECE specifications. UNECE Vehicle Technical Regulation is adopted by Malaysia. Vehicles have to follow the many regulations and sometimes adoptions that is enforced by our country.

What does the VTA examination encompass? In the above examination, RTD officers will physically inspect a model and its markings based on:

a. Certificates and

b. Test reports

which are supplied by vehicle manufacturers for every component. This includes H.I.D. lights as well.

H.I.D. lights that are comparable to UNECE specifications, will be awarded certificates R48, R98 or R99. That means a vehicle has surpassed the VTA tests required.

As mentioned earlier, vehicles which are retrofitted with High Intensity lights might not be safe enough. Besides causing glares or blinding on-coming drivers, the question of safety to users also plays a great role.

On going actions against users of H.I.D. and xenon lights users have been conducted from time to time. On suggestion that RTD prevent accessory shops from installing illegal H.I.D. lights, the RTD has advised that it’s beyond their rights to take actions on them.

However, the Director of the Road Transport Department has said those who possess complaints regarding vehicles that have been fitted with illegal lights, are advised to inform the department about it. Owners of such vehicles will then be directed to call in at the department’s premises for the RTD to inspect their vehicles.

The RTD’s latest explanation with regards to H.I.D. or xenon lights, has lifted a misconception that has existed in the minds of the motoring public in Malaysia. For the public, they are now in a better position to decide whether a xenon or H.I.D. vehicle is illegal or otherwise.

The public, I believe, would like to extend its gratitude to the Road Transport Department for taking the trouble to clear the air with regards to H.I.D. lights usage in this country.