Yong to SEDC: When will hydrogen buses head back to streets?

Violet Yong

KUCHING, Aug 4: Pending assemblywoman Violet Yong has called on Sarawak Economic Development Corporation (SEDC) to enlighten the public as to how soon the three hydrogen-powered buses will be back on the streets.

Yong noted that the buses have been grounded since public transport service was suspended following the Movement Control Order (MCO) being imposed on March 18.

“On June 29, SEDC chairman (Tan Sri Abdul Aziz Husain) also said that the buses will only resume operations after they have undergone full scheduled maintenance by technicians from the China-based manufacturer, Foshan Feichi Automobile Co. Ltd.

“Regrettably, more than a month has lapsed and yet there is still no sign for the return of the hydrogen buses for service,” she said in a statement today.

As such, Yong urged SEDC to disclose the details and status of the maintenance works for the buses, including whether the technicians from China had flown in to fix the ‘problematic’ buses.

“In terms of how long the issue can be fully resolved, the people are kept in total darkness despite millions of dollars spent on it,” she said in assuming that something went wrong with the buses.

Yong added that it was a total wastage for the Sarawak government to continue spending millions and millions of dollars on this hydrogen project which was unreliable, impractical that the ordinary people on the streets did not benefit anything out of it.

“It is also disappointing to note that the aim in implementing this hydrogen bus project project is not to solve the Sarawak public transport woes but a bombastic one just to satisfy the ego of a few,” she claimed.

Meanwhile, Abdul Aziz had on June 29 explained that the technicians from China were scheduled to arrive in Kuching sometime last March.

They, however, could not enter Sarawak due to the existing travel restrictions imposed since the start of MCO which was part of the precautionary measures to curb the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Apart from providing the warranty support services, Abdul Aziz added that the bus manufacturer was also scheduled to complete the training schedule for local technicians in Kuching as part of their continuous obligations to SEDC under the technical support agreement.

However, these plans too have been put on hold due to travel restriction related to Covid-19.—DayakDaily