Lutong-Kuala Baram Road Streetlights Damaged By Thieves & Vandals

Sarawak Energy converting to overhead lines to make sure road stays bright for the safety of roadusers.

MIRI, 21 JUNE 2016, TUESDAY: Sarawak Energy, through operating arm SESCO, is undertaking measures to keep the streetlights along the Lutong-Kuala Baram road safe and secure from hardware thieves and vandals by changing from the current underground cables which can be dug up easily by thieves to overhead supply lines. This will make sure the road stays bright for the safety of road users.

Rampant theft and vandalism are causing the streetlights along the stretch to malfunction, and the road is dark along affected sections making it unsafe for road users. The cases along the stretch seem to occur on a monthly frequency and several police reports have been lodged.

The most recent case saw the live neutral earthings stolen, causing unstable voltage and damage to the streetlights’ components. SESCO's technical team has already replaced the stolen parts for 30 streetlight posts and repair works are expected to be completed within two weeks. In past cases, thieves made away with streetlight underground cables; control boxes including lighting components and mains wiring.

The constant repair and replacement of stolen and damaged parts has cost the utility RM95,000 since 2015. SESCO will invest around RM220,000 in this proactive measure to convert the underground cables to overhead lines.

There are a total of 630 streetlight posts along the Lutong-Kuala Baram stretch and SESCO has already converted 249 spans to overhead lines. The poles which were given immediate attention were the ones close to residential areas.

Sarawak Energy Senior Vice President for Distribution Lau Kim Swee said,” We have highlighted the matter time and time again in order to appeal to the public to help stop theft and vandalism of our properties. Rampant hardware theft has caused malfunctioning streetlights which can endanger the lives of road users. Please help keep our streets safe and bright by putting a stop to this irresponsible act.”

The public are asked to report any suspicious activities in the area to assist authorities. Sarawak Energy can be contacted at 1300-88-3111. All information will be kept confidential.

A vandalised streetlight pole along Lutong-Kuala Baram road (filephoto).

An underground cable supplying the streetlights along Lutong-Kuala Baram road which have been damaged by thieves (filephoto).