Ten Substations Vandalised For Copper Cables Over The Last Two Months In Bintulu

Public Urged to Inform Sarawak Energy of Any Suspicious Activities on Site

26 NOVEMBER 2019

Fourteen cases of cable theft at Sarawak Energy's electrical facilities in Bintulu have been reported this year with ten reported in these last two months of October and November alone. Despite efforts in enhancing security measures, the problem is still prevalent in Bintulu. This dangerous crime not only damages equipment, but also contributes to power supply interruption and public inconvenience.

To mitigate this problem, Sarawak Energy’s utility arm, Syarikat Sesco Berhad, has stepped up night patrols in Bintulu, installed remote sensors to alert unauthorised entry at its facilities, and spread awareness among the public through various media. The utility is also working closely with the Police in joint operations to carry out checks at recycling centres to stop trading of stolen copper cables among second hand dealers.

Sarawak Energy’s Bintulu Regional Manager, Yong Hua Keh said thieves and vandals are getting bolder, leaving behind damaged equipment, causing inconvenience and endangering public safety.

“Stealing electricity cables is very dangerous. It can cause serious injury or even death from electrocution. We strongly advise the public to immediately report to us when they come across any vandalised electrical facilities. Their call will expedite response time and minimise inconvenience, as well as help us curb this dangerous crime,” said Yong.

“This year, Sarawak Energy has recorded 14 cases in Bintulu, incurring damages amounting to RM200,000,” Yong added.

Recently, a suspected cable thief was detained following a power outage report from customers in Taman Jasa Putra Jaya, Sibiyu. A technical team dispatched to attend to the case found a group of men acting suspiciously at the nearby substation and were able to detain one of them, while the others fled the scene. The team found vandalised equipment at the substation and discovered missing cables, which have led to the earlier power outage in the area.

Outside of Bintulu, a vandalism case was discovered in Sibu on Saturday at a substation near University College of Technology Sarawak. The damaged equipment in the substation caused a fire and supply to the surrounding areas was interrupted. Firefighters were called to assist in controlling the fire and the damages incurred from this incident is estimated to be close to RM50,000.

“The damage has far less value compared to the inconvenience caused by the thieves. This is where the public can help us stop this dangerous crime. Please report suspicious activities or individuals lurking near electrical equipment or facilities by contacting Sarawak Energy Customer Care Centre. Information from the public is very much appreciated as this will help us improve our service,” said Yong.

Customers can report suspicious activities to Sarawak Energy 24-hour Customer Care Centre at 1300-88-3111 or email, which is available daily 24/7.

The transformer cable box vandalised by the thieves in the attempt to steal copper cables in Bintulu.

The vandalised distribution pillar at the substation in Bintulu.

Yong (center) together with his team at a recent courtesy visit to Bintulu Police Chief Superintendent Zulkifli Suhaili to discuss on cable theft.

The damaged switchgear at the substation in Sibu due to the fire.

A firefighter controlling the flames at the vandalised substation.