I am disappointed to have read this news. You see, I’m a Kelantanese and have owed a great deal to public transportation when I was a kid. Amid news of nCov virus that blighted our stream in the past few weeks, it is easy for us to read this article and discard it for irrelevancy to our daily lives.
Well for a segment of people in Kelantan that needed public transportation the most, I assure you that this is worse than nCov.
Mobility is the ability for people to move about (example Pasir Mas to Kota Bharu), and Social Mobility is the ability for people to move up in the social strata (example from Poor to Middle-class).
These two terms while distinct from each other, are tightly intertwined.
Ability for people to be mobile, easily & cheaply move from one place to another is one of key components to help them be self-reliant. A dependable public transportation system allows people at the far corner of the state to wake up every morning, pay a few ringgit and go to earning a living in urban areas. At the end of day, take the bus ride and be back home.
Public transportation connects two places with vastly different wealth opportunity. It closes the opportunity gap, enabling poorer people access to opportunities to create wealth.
Lack of public transportation impacts poor people tremendously. Their ability to work in urban centers & earn a living is immediately cut off. In Kelantan, that means this segment of population can no longer earn RM20-30 per day. That may not sound much to you, but this meagre salary gets their kids fed.
That meagre salary also helps put their kids to school. For maybe one day, one of the kids maybe end up becoming a teacher, or an engineer, or a doctor. This lone successful kid will pull up their entire family to better living.
Just like how I owed myself to my mom and my selfless Aunt.