DBKL and MBI want you to report potholes via WhatsApp, but what about Waze?

Instead of letting people use Waze to report incidents and potholes like the Selangor State Local Authorities, Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) and Ipoh City Council (MBI) is providing people with a WhatsApp number. The ‘DBKL Potholes Complaints’ line was launched on 7 January.

“DBKL Potholes Complaints was created for the safety of road users following the many accident cases reported over the past few weeks due to potholes on the road,” said Kuala Lumpur Mayor Datuk Mahadi Che Ngah.

The DBKL Potholes Complaints WhatsApp line

Mahadi advised users to send a message to the ‘DBKL Potholes Complaints’ WhatsApp number (011-6239 6652) to report the road damages. He also advised users to state the exact locations of the damaged roads in their complaints to enable immediate action to be taken.

“We will send a repair team immediately, if the information provided is accurate. We will also be able to identify whether the area is under DBKL or a concession,” he continued.

According to Mahadi, they have already received 271 complaints through the platform since 8 January. For potholes that are less than one square meter in size, he said that action will be taken “within 24 hours after a complaint is received”. According to the DBKL’s WhatsApp account description, you’ll need to snap a picture of the pothole.

MBI Pothole WhatsApp line

The Ipoh City Council (MBI) introduced a new WhatsApp line for potholes and other road damage on 18 January. The WhatsApp number, 0174122113, is specifically for Ipoh, Perak.

According to Ipoh Mayor Datuk Rumaizi Baharin, the line is one of the easiest ways users can contact them to report on road damage. Reports will be processed quicker, and replies will be given quickly.

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Why not use Waze?

I’ve touched on this previously, but why isn’t DBKL utilising the Waze app for pothole reports? Most Malaysian road users are already likely to have the navigation app on while driving, so reporting on road-related issues is as easy as two touches of a button. This will automatically record the location of the road damage as well.

Whereas if they were to use a WhatsApp number, people would need to go to the WhatsApp app, type in the information, take a picture, and send it to the right number. The experience isn’t convenient as it requires drivers to pullover by the side of the road or wait until they reached their destination before they can make a report.

Selangor has been using Waze to get their information for potholes and other road hazards since December 2017. According to Senator Edry Faizal on Twitter, in December 2020 69.51% of reported issues on Waze have been solved, 22.13% of the issues are on its way to being solved, and 8.36% of them have not yet been solved.

Besides the newly installed WhatsApp numbers from DBKL and MBI, JKR stated 11 other different methods that you can report road-related issues. They’re also all a slight hassle compared to the convenience of the Waze app—as they even recommend snail mail.


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Dzamira Dzafri