By Emma Victoria
THE SARAWAK government should look for more practical ways to solve the long standing public transport system issues in the state.
Pending assemblywoman Violet Yong said it was high time to just go back to the basics and implement simple projects like getting the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) in place and improve on the normal bus service routes.
She said hydrogen buses are unreliable, unstable and difficult to maintain.
“How can the public have full confidence in the project which Sarawak Economic Development Corporation (SEDC) and Sarawak Metro Sdn Bhd have embarked on?”
Two days ago, SEDC chairman Tan Sri Abdul Aziz Husain admitted that the hydrogen-powered buses have been grounded for maintenance work, which speaks volumes that the hydrogen technology is still not viable, unstable and immature, she said.
Sarawak also does not have any local experts specialising in hydrogen technology and has to rely solely on foreign technicians to carry out the necessary hydrogen related maintenance issues.
“In our case here, SEDC Sarawak has to “beg” the technicians to fly all the way from China to fix the problem,” she said.
Yong said it is sad to see that the Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) was willing to spend millions of ringgit to embark on the hydrogen bus project, which many countries have refused to invest and adopt the construction of fuelling stations and production plants.
It is a system that has yet to be proven successful.
“The ordinary people do not get to enjoy any benefits from it and the core issues relating to public transport system in the major cities of Sarawak remains unsolved despite spending millions of ringgit,” she said.
The assemblywoman questioned if the GPS government is only interested in feeling prestigious and not wanting to solve the public transport system in the state via practical solutions.
“I wish to remind the GPS government not to wear a hat that is much too big for one’s head. This is not the time to show off by doing projects which are out of our 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 in the corridors of power,” she added.
She said the hydrogen-fuel bus started its trial run in August last year but in less than two months, the service was suspended due to a temporary halt at the hydrogen production plant and refuelling station.
The hydrogen bus went back on the roads early this year but was again suspended due to technical issues.
“With the high frequency in various technical problems, how can the hydrogen bus service overcome the public transport system issues?” Yong asked.