Fadillah: Energy Ministry role aiming for national energy transition, not just Sarawak’s green policy inclusion

Fadillah Yusof

KUCHING, Feb 1: Dato Seri Fadillah Yusof stressed that his role as the Energy Transition and Public Utilities Minister should not be construed as solely aimed at securing Sarawak’s inclusion in federal green policies.

Fadillah, who is also Deputy Prime Minister, perceived his appointment as a strategic opportunity to unite and optimise the strengths of Peninsular Malaysia, Sabah, and Sarawak’s energy systems in fostering new economic growth.

According to Bernama in a recent interview, Fadillah envisioned positioning Malaysia as a prominent regional energy transition hub and renewable energy powerhouse within Asean and Asia.

“By capitalising on collective strengths, I hope to drive a sustainable energy transition that benefits the entire nation,” he emphasised.

The establishment of the Energy Transition and Public Utilities Ministry, separated from the Natural Resources, Environment, and Climate Change Ministry, reflected the Federal government’s focus on renewable energy. Previously helmed by Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad, the Setiawangsa Member of Parliament is now the Natural Resources and Sustainability Minister.

Fadillah highlighted Sarawak’s leadership in implementing progressive policies and adopting cutting-edge sustainable energy technologies, surpassing federal-level initiatives in areas like hydrogen adoption, carbon capture utilization and storage (CCUS), battery energy storage, and sustainable aviation fuel.

“This has positioned Sarawak at the forefront of sustainable energy innovation,” he said.

He shared that Sarawak’s hydrogen-powered autonomous rapid transit (ART) system stood out as a forward-thinking approach to revolutionising urban transportation.

“The deployment of hydrogen buses for the first and last mile connectivity underscores Sarawak’s commitment to decarbonising the transport sector, a development that we can emulate at the Federal level,” he added.

Regarding nuclear power, Fadillah stated that the Federal government remains open to reliable and cost-competitive power generation technologies, including nuclear energy from small modular reactors (SMRs).

He said the key criterion for adopting nuclear power revolves around its ability to provide clean, reliable, and affordable energy solutions.

“When evaluating potential energy sources, the government considers various factors such as feasibility, long-term sustainability, economic viability, technological advancements, environmental sustainability, affordability, and technical specifications for seamless grid integration.

“A diligent assessment process is critical to ensure a balanced consideration of multiple aspects before deciding on the suitability and adoption of any power generation technology,” he explained.

In August last year, Economy Minister Rafizi Ramli acknowledged that Malaysia was not ruling out nuclear power generation.

He emphasised the need for careful consideration to address the “energy trilemma” and recognised the potential of small modular reactors in the country’s energy mix. — DayakDaily