Sarawak Premier Calls for Sustainable Energy Alternatives to Replace Diesel

Sarawak Premier Abang Johari Openg has urged the federal government to seek out affordable and sustainable energy alternatives to replace diesel consumption nationwide. He suggested that such alternatives could eliminate the reliance on government-funded diesel subsidies.

Abang Johari made these remarks following the Asia Pacific Green Hydrogen Conference and Exhibition (APGH) 2024, where he emphasised the unsustainable nature of continuous diesel subsidies. “If people keep relying on diesel and demanding subsidies whenever diesel prices rise, they’ll just keep asking for subsidies,” he stated.

Highlighting the potential of hydrogen as a viable alternative, Abang Johari called on the government to explore innovative energy sources. He pointed out that Sarawak is actively pursuing hydrogen technology and questioned why the nation continues to focus on diesel. “Why are we still talking about diesel when you have hydrogen? To reduce hydrogen costs, we need to completely shift away from using diesel. That’s the most practical solution,” he noted.

This call for a shift in energy policy comes as the federal government adjusts diesel prices. The price of diesel in Peninsular Malaysia has been set at RM3.35 per litre, following an announcement by Second Finance Minister Amir Hamzah Azizan. This new price will be reviewed weekly. Meanwhile, in Sabah, Sarawak, and Labuan, diesel remains at a subsidised rate of RM2.15 per litre.

The Budi Madani programme continues to support private diesel vehicle owners, small-scale farmers, and smallholders with RM200 in monthly cash aid. Registration for this subsidy programme began on May 28, with the first batch of 30,000 diesel vehicle owners receiving their aid yesterday.

Abang Johari’s advocacy for sustainable energy alternatives is in line with Sarawak’s broader energy strategy, positioning the state as a leader in green technology adoption.

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