CEO: Sarawak Energy loses RM5.33m to cable thieves and vandals

Sulok Tawie
Stolen copper cables recovered by Sarawak Energy Berhad, January 12, 2019. ― Picture courtesy of Sarawak Energy Berhad

KUCHING, Jan 12 ― State-owned electricity provider Sarawak Energy Berhad (SEB) today expressed its concern that copper cable theft and vandalism cases at its electrical facilities are still happening throughout the state, despite measures to curb the problem.

SEB chief executive officer Datuk Sharbini Suhaili said SEB lost about RM5.33 million as a result of 369 copper cable theft and vandalism cases over the last three years.

“In response to the increasing trend since 2016, SEB has stepped up its efforts to mitigate the problem including installation of remote monitoring systems, increased patrolling and other initiatives,” he said.

Sarbini said SEB is also working closely with the police in joint operations to carry out checks at recycling centres to deter trade in stolen copper cables among second hand dealers.

He warned that stealing copper at electrical facilities doesn't only hurt the companies but endangers the lives of the would-be thieves.

He noted one person died last year and another one early this month after they were electrocuted for attempting to cut copper cables.

“Being too close to live electrical facilities is extremely dangerous and stealing cables can result in flashovers or electrocution, burns and even death. These two regretful incidents are tragic examples of how stealing cables is not worth the risk,” Sharbini said.

He appealed to the public to inform SEB of any suspicious individuals near its facilities to avoid unnecessary power interruptions or even fatalities.

He said the public can contact SEB’s 24-hour Customer Care Centre at 1300-88-3111, which operates seven days a week or immediately call the nearest police station. 

He said reports can also be logged into SEBcares, SEB’s mobile app.

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