If we were to turn back the clock, we could see the changing role of Kuala Lipis as the center of trade in Hulu Pahang. The changing trading roles are very much affected by the communication and road system built throughout the period.
1. Period 1 - total reliance of river transport.
2. Period 2 - rail transport and limited road in 1950 to 1970
3. Period 3 - reduced role of railway and improved road.
4. Period 4 - future improved motorway.
4. Period 4 - Improved motorway (future)
I think the future of Kuala Lipis will not be better off than what it is today. It will no longer be the collection center for the surrounding agricultural products. These products, such as rubber and oil palm will be handled by small scale traders operating from the village at the plantation. The traders will be sending direct to the factory thus bypassing the tarders at Kuala Lipis.
I had seen the small scale traders set up the shops to buy the rubber direct from the farmers and send them direct to the factory. This had cut off a layer of middle man.
As the road improves, Kuala Lipis will be about 1.5 hours from Kuala Lumpur, about 1.5 hour to cameron highland and 2 hours to Kota Bharu. This will mean that, people will be going direct to Kota Bharu and Kuala Lumpur to purchasr the consumers products, such as clothing and even the groceries. That will leave Kuala Lipis to be offering like adhoc shopping requirements.
I can see this had started to take place. The low cost clothing are handle by the weekly market, like Sunday Market. For high end products, people prefer to buy form Kuala Lumpur, although it is currently 3 hours away.
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