He said Anwar made the request before the federal Cabinet held its meeting at the State Secretariat at Wisma Bapa Malaysia here yesterday.

The prime minister and the federal Cabinet were in Kuching for the Malaysia Day celebration to mark the 60 years of the formation of Malaysia.

Abang Johari said the prime minister had requested him to give the talk for 30 minutes “to teach them how we live peacefully in Sarawak and how we develop the state, particularly on the new economy.”

The premier said the hydrogen and green economy is new to them.

“Now he wants me to give a talk to all the Members of Parliament and chief ministers on the new economy that Sarawak has adopted.

“Now, they follow us. We don’t follow them,” he said.

Abang Johari said he is very humbled by the request from the prime minister.

He stressed the world is facing a lot of challenges, one of which is climate change.

He said the rise in temperature is affecting the whole world, including China, Middle East , Europe and Malaysia, noting that last July was among the hottest months ever recorded in recent history.

“Sarawak, I told them (the federal Cabinet), is trying our level best to control and mitigate the emission of carbon,” he said.

Abang Johari said Sarawak has started by producing hydrogen as the best fuel of the future.

“We get our hydrogen by splitting the water through the process of electrolyser.

“We have buses powered by hydrogen and we are testing an ART (autonomous rapid transit) vehicle that was brought from China to Kuching, using hydrogen,” he said.  MM

Analysts: Having Dr Mahathir as SG4 adviser may not bring much benefit to PN-held stateswhatsapp sharing button

KUALA LUMPUR: Appointing Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad as the adviser of the “state government four” (SG4) is purely cosmetic and may not bring much benefit to Perikatan Nasional-led states, say experts.

Nusantara Academy for Strategic Research senior fellow Dr Azmi Hassan said there was no “tangible reason” for PN to appoint the former prime minister as its unofficial governance and economic adviser.

“Yes, Dr Mahathir has a wide and global network, but he is not the prime minister. Any foreign direct investment will still need to go through the Malaysian Investment Development Authority.

“Even then, it is quite a strange move (by PN) as PN state governments are at odds with the federal government,” he said.

The geostrategist said SG4 should have instead appointed an influential person, who is politically neutral, if it was sincere in its efforts to spur development in the four states controlled by PN namely Perlis, Kedah, Kelantan and Terengganu.

“With his influence and experience, Dr Mahathir may be able to help. But again, communication with the federal government is very critical here, and that is the reason why I feel this is just for cosmetic reasons.”

Azmi also said the move was also to prove that Pas was still the kingmaker in PN and that it was just a way for the party to flex its muscles.

“Pas, as the state government in all PN-led states, is showing that it can call the shots because, as we know, PN chairman Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin and Dr Mahathir are at loggerheads,” he said.

Meanwhile, Professor James Chin of the University of Tasmania’s Asia Institute had similar views and said the only reason for PN appointing Dr Mahathir was to grow a bigger Malay vote base for the 16th General Election.

“There is no other reason. Dr Mahathir was a major factor in Pakatan Harapan winning the elections in 2018, and they (PN) think he can help them win.

“PN voters will support Dr Mahathir. He is extremely popular in rural areas, especially now that he has turned to the far right.”

Chin, however, noted that his role as adviser for SG4 would not benefit the states in terms of investments.

“I don’t think investors are looking at him kindly, as they are perplexed by his sudden right-wing turn.”

Despite this, he said, Dr Mahathir would remain relevant in the country’s political scene due to the latter being a political icon.

“But the more he does something like this, he will really destroy his legacy,” Chin said.

Associate Professor Dr Awang Azman Awang Pawi said accepting the role as unofficial adviser was merely a way for Dr Mahathir to atone for neglecting Kelantan and Terengganu when the latter was in power.

The Universiti Malaya political analyst questioned the reason behind Pas appointing him, instead of a figure in PN like Muhyiddin.

“Does Pas think that Bersatu will not bring much of a benefit to them in the future, or do they feel that Dr Mahathir is more relevant than Muhyiddin?

“Perhaps, this is why he agreed to be part of SG4, because he wants to reenter relevancy, to the point of being willing to be associated with Pas,” he said.

On Thursday, Terengganu Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Samsuri Mokhtar said PN was mulling grouping four of its state governments as SG4 to focus on economic development and the people’s wellbeing.

He said the four menteris besar of Perlis, Kedah, Kelantan and Terengganu would discuss an action plan, while Dr Mahathir was set to play a significant role as their unofficial adviser.

Ahmad said Dr Mahathir would also help connect the four states with investors from countries he had good ties with, such as Japan and South Korea.  NST