Yong questions viability of hydrogen-fuel buses, technology

Violet Yong

KUCHING, July 1: SEDC chairman Tan Sri Abdul Aziz Husain’s revelation two days ago that the hydrogen-fuel buses have been grounded to undergo full maintenance work speaks volumes that hydrogen technology is still not viable, unstable and immature, claims Pending assemblywoman Violet Yong.

Questioning the Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) state government willingness to to spend millions of ringgit to embark on the hydrogen-fuel bus projects, Yong also claimed many countries refused to invest in and adopt the construction of such fuelling stations and production plants as it is a system that has yet to be proven successful.

“SEDC (Sarawak Economic Development Corporation) also admitted that Sarawak does not have any local experts who specialise in hydrogen technology but has to rely solely on foreign technicians to carry out the necessary hydrogen related maintenance issues. For our case here, SEDC Sarawak has to “beg” the technician to fly all the way from China to fix the problem.

“Suffice to say, despite millions of ringgit spent, the ordinary people do not get to enjoy any benefits out from it and that the core issue relating to the public transport system in the major cities of Sarawak remains unsolved,” Yong asserted in a statement today.

The hydrogen-fuel bus service started its trial run some time in August 2019.

After less than two months, the service was suspended due to a temporary halt at the hydrogen production plant and refuelling station.

In January this year, Yong pointed out, the hydrogen buses were on the road again but shortly after that the service stopped due to technical issues.

“I would like to seek an answer from the Sarawak GPS Government, given the unreliability and instability of the hydrogen-fuel bus and on top of that it is difficult to maintain. How can the public have full confidence in this prestigious hydrogen fuel bus service project which SEDC and Sarawak Metro Sdn Bhd embarked on?

“With its high frequency in encountering various technical issues, how can the long overdue public transport system problem in Sarawak be solved? Is the Sarawak GPS government only interested in getting the feel of being prestige (sic) and not wanting to solve the public transport system in the state via practical solutions?” she asked.

Yong also reminded the Sarawak GPS Government “Do not wear a hat that is much too big for one’s head”, and asserted that it is high time to just go back to basics such as simple projects like getting the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) in place and improving on the normal bus service routes.

“This is not a time for the Sarawak GPS Government to show off by doing projects which are out of (our) own means and capabilities. It is prudent for the government to spend wisely and be fully responsible in ensuring all the projects undertaken are able to bring betterment to the people and not just to enrich or benefit a few which stay in the corridor of power,” Yong asserted. — DayakDaily