MSMA- Manual Saliran Mesra Alam Malaysia (Urban Stormwater Management Manual for Malaysia)

What is MSMA?

MSMA stands for the Manual Saliran Mesra Alam Malaysia (MSMA) or the Urban Stormwater Management Manual for Malaysia. It is the drainage design guideline published by the Jabatan Pengairan dan Saliran Malaysia (Department of Irrigation and Drainage Malaysia).

The document is officially enforced by the Malaysian Government in 2001. It is required by law in Malaysia for all to design drainage works to comply with the requirements of MSMA.

  Who is Affected by MSMA ?

The groups affected by the implementation of MSMA include various professional groups e.g., civil engineers and engineers from other disciplines, architects, landscape architects, town planners, surveyors, quantity surveyors, environmental scientists and other professionals.
Besides the professional groups, the following groups are also affected: developers, contractors, government regulators like the Department of Irrigation and Drainage and the Public Works Department, Department of the Environment, local councils, students, land owners and other stakeholders.
Purpose of MSMA
The main concept of MSMA is about controlling the runoff from a development site via a “control-at-source” approach as opposed to the “rapid-disposal” approach adopted earlier (DID, 1975).
Two major parameters to be controlled are the quantity and quality of discharges. These two components must be addressed at the source or the site of development. The quantity and quality of discharges going out from the site must not exceed those before the development.
To achieve the above, structural and hydraulic components such as site storage facilities, control structures and underground infiltration modules must be designed and installed within the site.
The ultimate objective is to ensure zero development impact in both quantity and quality of runoff from a development site.

History of MSMA

Before 2000, engineers in Malaysia applied the “Planning and Design Procedure No. 1” published by D.I.D. in 1975 (DID, 1975) for their drainage design. This document was around for about 25 years. This is a relatively simple document to use- with only 242 pages covering ten chapters.


But this has changed with the introduction of MSMA in 2000 (DID, 2000 abbreviated hereinafter as MSMA1). The new Manual is much more thorough in its coverage of subject matters compared to the old procedure. It contains 48 chapters spanning more than 1,100 pages. Its content reflects the latest advances in the field of stormwater quantity and quality management from around the world, with many major changes in approaches and procedures.

In 2011, the Department has published an updated version of the same manual, known as MSMA 2nd Edition (DID, 2011- abbreviated hereinafter as MSMA2). This document was launched by the Department in early 2012 and enforced on 1 July, 2012. The document is roughly half the thickness of the first edition. There are many changes from the first edition. 


Problems of Complying with MSMA Requirements

Many are finding it difficult to comply with the requirements of MSMA due to:

  1. Many professionals find that the design procedures inside MSMA is difficult to understand and too complicated to apply. For example, in the first edition of MSMA, there were only 35 rainfall stations, but now in MSMA2 there are 135 rainfall stations in Peninsular Malaysia.
  2. With the introduction of MSMA2, the magnitudes of many design parameters have increased, for example: storms, temporal patterns, peak discharges, hydrographs and changes in the storage volumes of On-Site Detention (OSD), detention basins and sediment basins. As a result, the drainage structures designed using MSMA2 are larger than MSMA1. This results in an increase in the cost of development and problems of undersized structures in areas designed using earlier drainage guidelines.
  3. The problem of compliance is made more difficult as many regulators themselves are not well versed with the requirements of MSMA.
  4. MSMA2 do not cover East Malaysia in many topics e.g., design storms, termporal patterns and OSD, thus making it difficult for East Malaysian states to adopt the guideline.
  5. Many state DID’s have adopted different interpretation of the guideline, thus making it more difficult to comply.


Increase in Design Parameters
Design Storm increased by 126% in MSMA 2
Design Discharge by Rational Method up by 131%
Design Discharge by Time-Area Method up by 127%
Changes in temporal patterns
Increase in Storage Volumes
Detention basin storage up by 130% in MSMA 2
Sedimen basin volume up by 165% in MSMA 2
Site Storage Requirement for OSD increased by 190%
Combined Rainwater Harvesting and OSD MSMA 2


Problems Compounded by Changes in MSMA2

The problems of compliance with MSMA requirements is further compounded by the changes brought about by the introduction of MSMA2.

Based on our research, we found many changes between the first and second editions of  MSMA. Details of our research is presented in separate papers HERE. The key findings based on our case study for Kuala Lumpur are as follows:

  1. The design storm has increased by up to 126% for 10 out of the 14 stations in Kuala Lumpur.
  2. The design discharge using the Rational Method has gone up by up to 131% for commercial and city area.
  3. The peak discharge using the Time-Area Method has increased by 127%.
  4. The Site Storage Requirement for OSD for a factory site has increased by 190%.
  5. The volume of detention basin for a site has increased by up to 130%.
  6. The volume of wet sediment basin has increased by 165%.
  7. The requirement to provide rainwater harvesting according to the procedure outlined in MSMA(2011).

<<some graphs to show above>>>>

A Tool to Help You Apply MSMA Quickly and Easily:

We have developed a powerful tool to help you apply MSMA quickly and easily– with our new MSMA Compliance Drainage Design Software- MSMAware.

This is a tool that shows you the MSMA requirements and helps you to do complicated design calculations with a few clicks of the mouse.

To design a drainage structures like culverts or OSD, all you need to do is point and click your location on a google live map, enter a few parameter values and the software will do the design for you.

It will even generate a report for you- in a format ready for submission to the authorities!

If you need help, you can count on our free lifetime technical support.

You will get free updates for life and a discount for any future updates.

There are Youtube videos ( here that show you how to use the software step-by-step.

There is also extensive online documentation ( with theories and case studies to help you in case you are lost!

Benefits of MSMAware:

The benefits of MSMAware include the following:

  1. You can comply with the requirements of MSMA quickly using MSMAware.
  2. You can perform the drainage calculations in MSMA easily with a few clicks of the mouse.
  3.  You can generate a report for submission to authorities with a click of the mouse.
  4. The software has a very intuitive GUI interface, is easy to understand and use.
  5.  The software complies with both the first and second editions of MSMA.
  6. Two versions of the software available- for Peninsular Malaysia and Sarawak.
  7. Free lifetime technical support and free updates for life.
  8. You can refer to our online documentation ( and Youtube videos ( for help on using our software.
Example of How MSMAware Can Be Applied:

MSMAware allows you to comply with MSMA efortlessly as follows:

  1. At the click of a mouse, you can select any one of the 135 stations in West Malaysia and 12 stations in East Malaysia on a google live map, and the software will compute the design storm, plot the IDF curves and generate a comprehensive report for you automatically.
  2. To compute the peak discharge for any location in Malaysia using the Rational Method, all you need to do is to select the nearest stations on a map, enter the catchment area and select the runoff coefficient and the software will compute the design discharge and generate a report for you automatically.
  3. The same applies to the Time-Area Method where you can select the nearest station on a map and the software will automatically generate the design storm data, and use them in the convolution procedure to compute the discharge.
  4. For On-Site Detention (OSD) design, the software will apply two methods of computing the Site Storage Requirements (SSR) i.e., the approximate Swinburne method in MSMA2 and the exact Swinburne method in the first edition.
  5. For detention pond design, the software allows you to choose one out of three methods of computing the inflow hydrograph for reservoir routing i.e., Rational Method, Time-Area Method and user defined hydrograph. After you select the nearest station, the software computes the design storm for the hydrograph computation automatically.
  6. For culvert design, the software can design your culvert based on the design discharge from one of three methods of computing peak discharge as follows: Rational Method, Time Area Method and user defined discharge.
  7. For all the software, you have the option of designing using the first or second editions of MSMA, allowing you to make a comparison between the two editions of MSMA.


What Made MSMAware the Best Software for MSMA Compliance?


We believe we are the best software for MSMA anywhere in the world! Why?

Because MSMAware is developed by a team of Malaysian engineers.

We are consulting engineers by practice, so we know what we are doing!

<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> Team members and Their Background:

MSMAware Development Team : Dr. Quek Keng Hong, Engr. Chee, Abiddin.

Ir. Dr. Quek Keng Hong

If you use MSMA, you probably heard about Dr. Quek. A well known expert on MSMA who has developed numerous applications widely used by engineers around the country. Dr. Quek received all his three degrees from the University of NSW, Australia– a university renowned for its research work in the field of hydrology. The university played a key role in the preparation of the Australian version of MSMA i.e., the Australian Rainfall and Runoff. A consulting engineer by practice, he has nearly three decades of experience in urban drainage design and has involved in many major infrastructural projects around the country. An outstanding leader in his field who, despite his busy schedule, still finds time to conduct regular workshops and seminars on MSMA. He is the creator of MSMAware and jointly developed it with Engr. Chee.


Engr. Chee Shai Choon
Engr. Chee is truly a rare bred of a civil engineer who has combined good technical knowledge with great programming skill to produce many leading edge software in civil engineering. He is the developer and brain behind the highly successful Infravera suite of software for Earthworks, Urban Stormwater Design, Aquator for Water Reticulation, Drain Network and Analysis, and Sewer Network and Analysis. His software are known not only for their user friendliness, but also for their technical accuracies compared to others in the market. Currently, he leads a team of software developers on MSMAware. Together with Dr. Quek, Engr Chee has developed MSMAware to become the leading application in the industry.

Here is a comparison of our product with our competitors: <<<< CLICK HERE >>>>



Special Announcement: Upcoming MSMA Seminar at IEM!

“MSMA2 Into 3rd Year – Problems of Compliance & Solutions?”

Learn how to comply with the requirements of the Second Edition of MSMA easily in the two day seminar to be held in PJ and Kuching!

Date: 21-22 May, 2015, Time: 8:30 am- 5 pm. Venue: IEM, Petaling Jaya

Date: 25-26 June, 2015, Time: 8:30 am- 5 pm. Venue: IEM, Kuching

The brochure and registration form can also be downloaded from  Details at


MSMAware Pricing

Click here to view the price list.

Please enquire about our easy payment scheme.


Yes, I m interested. Please Send Me More Info

We will send you more info about MSMAware if you click HERE.



Any questions?

You can call/sms/WhatsApp: Dr. Quek at

HP : (6)012-889 9486

Email :

Office : 603-5882 2085






Drainage and Irrigation Department (1975) Urban Drainage Design Standards and Procedures for Peninsular Malaysia. Planning and Design Procedure No. 1. Ministry of Agriculture, Malaysia.

Drainage and Irrigation Department (2000) “Urban Stormwater Management Manual for Malaysia” Ministry of Agriculture, Malaysia.

Drainage and Irrigation Department (2011) “Urban Stormwater Management Manual for Malaysia” (Manual Saliran Mesra Alam Malaysia), Second edition.

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