Abdul Karim hits back at MP

Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah

KUCHING: Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah hit back at Bandar Kuching MP Dr Kelvin Yii over the latter’s view that Sarawak should not venture into the hydrogen economy.

“He needs to study why we are embarking on something like this; it is not that we are building up the (Bintulu Hydrogen) Plant to feed our four or five buses. We are looking into a bigger plan,” he said.

This was said when speaking to reporters at the tripartite memorandum of understanding (MoU) signing ceremony for the development of Bintulu Hydrogen Plant at the Grand Margherita Hotel here today.

Earlier, Yii urged the state government to reconsider its decision to move towards the hydrogen economy and to reveal the economic feasibility study and cost-effectiveness analysis of this endeavour.

Abdul Karim described the MoU, which was inked between Sarawak Economic Development Corporation (SEDC) Energy Sdn Bhd, Sumitomo Corporation, and ENEOS, as historic.

“Two of these big companies from Japan are collaborating with the state government through SEDC to develop a plant in Bintulu — this reflects the confidence that these giant companies have in Sarawak to develop the use of hydrogen,” he said.

He said Sarawak was looking into the future and clean energy, embarking on hydrogen-related endeavours which many other countries had not ventured into yet.

He pointed out that many countries were already using quite large amounts of hydrogen, and with the upcoming Bintulu Hydrogen Plant, the state would be able to export hydrogen to all these countries.

Abdul Karim said Sarawak’s venture into the hydrogen economy could be attributed to its vast water resources, good ports, and political stability.

“These companies would not want to embark on this joint venture to build a plant down here without first doing a lot of assessments including on political stability,” he said.