For 30-year-old Richelle Alvaraz, a mother of six and a resident of the Visayan city of Tacloban – the most severely affected location in the republic – the typhoon (dubbed Yolanda in the Philippines) with its 380km/h winds and unprecedented storm surges will never be forgotten. Literally: because despite countless government promises over the past five years, Alvaraz is still waiting – along with thousands of others – to be relocated to permanent housing.
KL’s MRT line is sleek, plush, and expensive. The TransJakarta BRT may be far from these superlatives, but it offers cheap and effective transport to a population of 32 million. Malaysia could learn from Indonesia.
Myo Zaw Khant is a 26-year-old banking assistant. Despite the chaos outside, he’s the epitome of cool professionalism: wearing a traditional cotton longyi and a white collarless shirt. He has a shy smile and a reserved, self-disciplined manner.