Chong doubts hydrogen bus operation, says it should be scrapped


Chong speaks to the press at the State Assembly Building, accompanied by Pending assemblywoman Violet Yong (left) and Tanjong Batu assemblyman Chew Chiu Sing. Photo by Chimon Upon

KUCHING: The Sarawak government should consider scrapping its hydrogen bus operation as it is very costly, said Kota Sentosa assemblyman Chong Chieng Jen.

Citing the recent case where three of the state’s hydrogen buses were temporarily halted due to a contaminant liquid issue, he pointed out that hydrogen fuel-cell buses feature a technology that has yet to mature.

“As far as I know, the technology of hydrogen buses has not matured and it is also very costly. The hydrogen buses were on the road for a few months and after that the operation was temporarily halted and the buses had to go back to the workshop,” he told reporters when met at the lobby of the State Legislative Assembly (DUN) Complex here today.

Earlier when debating the Natural Resources and Environment (Amendment) Bill, 2019 during DUN Sitting, Chong told the august House that there is no bus operation system in the world which relies solely on hydrogen fuel-cell buses.

“I stand to be corrected if you can give me some evidence on this but I don’t think there is a major bus system in the world that relies on hydrogen fuel-cell buses.”

He said with the amount of money the Sarawak government is investing in research of hydrogen energy production, this should instead be channelled to other industries to reduce carbon emissions.

“In every investment, there are opportunity costs and the additional cost to switch from diesel to hydrogen fuel-cell buses may be too huge.

“These additional costs can be applied to other industries to reduce their carbon footprints.”