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The Future of Asia 2023

Mahathir Q&A: Auto industry 'will have to go to hydrogen'

Longtime prime minister talks EVs, Malaysian politics, role of Global South

Mahathir Mohamad in Tokyo on May 26: Malaysia's former prime minister says U.S. sanctions on Russia have given his country the opportunity to abandon the dollar in its trading with Russia. (Photo by Shinya Sawai)

TOKYO -- Former Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad last week sat down for an interview on the sidelines of Nikkei's Future of Asia conference, sharing his thoughts on a range of topics, from the "Global South" and the South China Sea to the electric vehicle industry and Malaysian politics.

The 97-year-old, who championed the development of Malaysia's auto industry, pointed out that electric vehicles require power generation, saying that the industry will eventually have to go to hydrogen unless renewable power becomes cheaper.

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