ALAF Lights Up Rural Households In Pantai Damai

3 MARCH 2022

More than 406 households from 10 villages in Pantai Damai were recently connected to the grid via the Sarawak government funded Additional Late Applicant Fund or ALAF, designed to help new rural homeowners in areas already electrified to meet the costs of connecting their houses to electricity supply. These new houses were not yet been built or ready for electricity connection when earlier Rural Electrification Scheme or RES projects were implemented in their areas.

Datuk Haji Julaihi Narawi, Minister for Utility and Telecommunication Sarawak officiated at a ceremony at Kampung Buntal to mark the successful electrification of the households.

At the event, Datuk Haji Julaihi explained that the Sarawak Government, through its Ministry of Utility and Telecommunication and implementing agency Sarawak Energy is accelerating the delivery of rural electrification projects to ensure access to reliable and affordable electricity supply for the whole of Sarawak by 2025 or earlier.

“ALAF was introduced under Sarawak’s Projek Rakyat to reduce the financial burden of new rural homeowners needing power connection. To date, over 6,800 households from more than 530 villages throughout Sarawak have benefited from this,” Julaihi said.

“By June this year, another 5 villages with 155 households will be connected to the grid, allowing them access to 24 hour reliable and renewable electricity, with a further 16 villages with 208 households to be lighted up by early 2023,” he continued.

Also in attendance were Deputy Minister for Utility and Telecommunication (Utility) Datuk Dr. Haji Abdul Rahman bin Haji Junaidi who is also Sarawak Assemblyman for the area; Director of Electricity Supply, Ministry of Utility and Telecommunication, Syed Mohamad Fauzi Shahab; Sarawak Energy’s Vice President for Distribution, Haji Yusri Bin Safri; community leaders and representatives from the resident office.

Sarawak Energy Group CEO, Datu Haji Sharbini Suhaili commented, “Sarawak Energy will continue to ensure reliable and affordable electricity is made available to all in Sarawak. Under ALAF, construction works is executed in stages according to when the supply schemes are approved, and about 1,400 of these households are expected to be connected before the end of 2022.”

Under ALAF, the State Government absorbs the costs for constructing new single-phase connections to the existing distribution network, which may also need to be extended to reach the new houses. ALAF also covers the meter installation fees and house owners only need to pay RM10 stamp duty and RM80 collateral deposit for registering as a new rural electricity consumer.

Complementing the ALAF program, Sarawak Energy provides a financial assistance called Assisted Wiring Scheme or AWS, an interest-free loan to house owners for installing the necessary internal house wiring for safe connection of electricity. The loan provides up to RM1,200 depending on size of the new house and repayment is via 36 instalments in their monthly electricity bill.

More than 150,000 rural households throughout Sarawak have been lighted up under various rural electrification strategies and initiatives since 2009, raising the State rural electricity coverage from 56% back then to 97% at the end of 2021. Electricity supply connection was delivered through extension of the grid system for rural areas with road accessibility; establishing localised micro-grid-hybrid systems for larger remote communities; and smaller standalone solar power systems for most smaller remote villages through Sarawak Alternative Rural Electrification Scheme or SARES.

Datuk Haji Julaihi bin Haji Narawi speaking during the launch of Additional Late Applicant Fund (ALAF) Project at Kampung Buntal.

Datuk Haji Julaihi bin Haji Narawi (centre) launching the ALAF project at Kampung Buntal while (from far left) Datuk Dr Haji Abdul Rahman bin Haji Junaidi, Haji Yusri bin Safri, (from far right) Syed Mohamad Fauzi Shahab and Markos Anak Sibong look on.

Datuk Haji Julaihi bin Haji Narawi (centre), with (from far left) Datuk Dr Haji Abdul Rahman Bin Haji Junaidi ,Haji Yusri bin Safri, (from far right) Syed Mohamad Fauzi Shahab and Markos Anak Sibong in a group photo.