ADB asked 3 young futurists to take the foresight report Reimagining the Future of Transport across Asia and the Pacific (ADB 2022) and immerse themselves in the future visions of the report. What stories would they be able to tell? Asked to imagine the transport experiences of a fictional persona, Idris Azim (Malaysia) introduces us to Mohd Hakim. In this video, Idris shares snippets from his future narrative, reflects on his experience and his view of the future opportunities in urbanized Malaysia.
The maglev station is part of the reason I didn't mind moving so far out to Malacca, where it was still quiet, and the air quality was fresh from all the natural conservation projects. As soon as I'm out, I make a rush for the elevator. But there's already a queue. And a nice lady my age politely greets me and invites me to wait.
We have lots of light rail transports, MRTS, LRTs, you name it. Yet, where we see the biggest issues of public transport in Malaysia is last mile transport. We are a very car based country normally. And what that means is that the question on every other Malaysians mind is, is it easier for me to drive into the city to get where I want to or use public transport. And most times because of the connectivity issue, most Malaysians still rely on private transport.
One of the key issues that I wanted to resolve for my own future would be that last mile transportation issue. You should be able to open up a phone and you should be able to see how far is your bus what buses are there? How far are your trains and they need to be fast, they need to be efficient, because that is what our society is going to revolve around. That's the only way we're going to be able to see a future where public transport is going to be preferable.
When I reached to the top of the railway station, it's predictably crowded and noisy. Nobody buys tickets from booths anymore, you either buy them in advance, go to the website or scan a QR code on your phone and buy them on the spot. Even this early in the morning there's still a fleet of buses dropping off people from all over the state. Rather than go through the already forming queue, I instead pivot to the left and take the more expensive premium coach on the maglev train. It's double the price of a regular ticket. But that comes with its own perks, like no ads while I'm in the train.
This character is named Mohammed Hakim, he is an elderly and disabled person. And I wanted to explore the journey of how he would operate in a public transport system. But also more importantly, I wanted him to be elderly because I wanted that to allow us to really juxtapose the present and the future as well with the persona talking about how it used to be. I think the human side of my persona comes from I think my own sort of personal gripes, I suppose, I tend to think of myself as a somewhat old soul.
When I was trying to get into the headspace of this kind of person, I tried to imagine okay, you know, if this was to be myself in 20 years, what would I find interesting? What I find happy? What I find annoying?
The sort of ideal future I wanted to present here are taken from already existing concepts. I would say that, in that sense, it has been attained by some countries, it has been attained by some industries. And the real question of whether or not it's idealised future is the immense amount of capital required to be able to construct these entities. And I think that really influenced my vision of the future.