Tuesday, July 16

State govt urged to reconsider hydrogen bus decision


Chong (third right) inspecting some fresh chicken on display at Everrise BDC. Also seen are Ministry of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs (KPDNHEP) Sarawak deputy director Md Nawawi Abdul Rahman (left) and Everrise BDC store manager Liew Fui Lin (right). – Photo by Chimon Upon


KUCHING: The state government should reconsider its decision to provide hydrogen fuel cell buses as a form of public transportation in the city because hydrogen technology for vehicles has yet to mature, said Deputy Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister Chong Chieng Jen.

“The hydrogen technology for vehicles is not mature yet and there will be a lot of adjustments.

“If we buy these buses now, when the hydrogen technology changes, we are going to waste a lot of money,” he told a press conference after leading his ministry’s enforcement team to conduct checks on the general prices of goods at Everrise BDC here today.

The Bandar Kuching MP pointed out that the prices of hydrogen fuel cell buses is also double to that of conventional buses.

Apart from that, he also noted that the state government would have to spend on a facility to convert water to hydrogen which will cost millions of Ringgit.

“I would like to caution the state government not to embark on such a flamboyant and impractical project.

“It may come up to nothing and we will definitely have to spend a lot more money to provide the hydrogen buses,” he said and urged the state government to rethink their decision and provide more conventional buses.

Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg yesterday announced that hydrogen fuel cell buses are expected to debut on the roads of Kuching city by March next year starting with three units of buses used as pilot vehicles for the state.

“We will try three buses first, as part of our pilot project and research (to improve and provide better public transportation system),” he told reporters after witnessing the signing of memorandum of understanding (MoU) between Sarawak Economic Development Corporation (SEDC) and Foshan Feishi Automobile Manufacture Co Ltd China for the supply and delivery of these hydrogen fuel cell buses.

Abang Johari however assured that the cost of each bus will not be that expensive and that this was being negotiated at the moment.