What a difference one year makes.
Back in 2017, we were contemplating a "Pax Sinica" as an ignorant American President seemed likely to concede global leadership to China’s quasi-imperial Xi Jinping. The roll-out of Xi's signature Belt and Road Initiative looked set to cement Chinese ambitions globally.
However, 2018 has been a bad year for China. Why?
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.