News & Updates

Sarawak Energy Urges Contractors To ‘Call Before You Dig’ To Prevent Outages

Stern Action will be Taken Against Those Who Damage Electrical Facilities

13 DECEMBER 2022

Sarawak Energy reminds all third-party contractors to check with the utility provider on underground cable routes before commencing works.

Excavations remain a common cause of electricity supply interruptions recently, due to a lack of proper planning and coordination by contractors. Sarawak Energy will not hesitate to take legal action and claim damages against those found damaging its facilities including underground cables.

Since 2020, Sarawak Energy incurred approximately RM2.5 million in losses from more than 590 cases of damaged electrical facilities contributed by third-party excavations alone. In 2022, a total of 202 cases were reported, incurring damages amounting to RM553,000.

On 7 December 2022 around 2:35 pm, residents along Jalan Matang and Malihah were affected with an outage for up to two hours when a third-party contractor damaged 11kV underground cables whilst carrying out excavation works.

Upon receiving a report, Sarawak Energy immediately deployed its technical team for rectification and supply was gradually restored to all the affected customers within two hours via an alternative supply source.

Cable repair works commenced immediately and were completed around 6:30am the next morning. As the contractor left the site without reporting the incident, Sarawak Energy will identify the said contractor and not hesitate to institute legal action against them.

The electricity provider will also ensure that relevant parties such as the Ministry of Utility and Telecommunication, Department of Occupational Safety and Health (DOSH) and the project owner is notified for further action.

Sarawak Energy’s Distribution Western Region team has expressed their disappointment over this incident due to the attitude of the contractor workers. Its Regional Manager, Choo Min Chong said that contractors should oversee their team closely and take responsibility for their actions.

“This is not the first time we have urged contactors to closely monitor work on site to ensure their workers proceed with excavation works away from the cable route.”

“We have been communicating non-stop on the importance of checking the cable route with us first before proceeding with works, yet we still get incidences of contractors disregarding precautions,” said Choo.

“May I emphasise once again that aside from supply interruptions, coming in contact with any of our cables is a safety hazard which may result in injuries or death caused by electrocution. This should not be taken lightly as we are committed to protect and ensure the safety of the workers and the public, ensuring everyone goes home safely,” Choo added.

Sarawak Energy will continue to issue warning letters and stop-work orders to its contractors breaching safety standards when working near live electric cables. These letters are also copied to the relevant authorities.

All contractors are reminded to call and consult with Sarawak Energy before proceeding with construction or excavation works to avoid damaging underground cables and causing unnecessary supply interruptions as well as to protect the safety of their workers and the public.

Contractors are also urged to comply with the Electricity Ordinance, the Electricity Rules 1999, and the Occupational Safety and Health Act 1994 when carrying out works within the vicinity of high-tension cables or other electrical infrastructure to ensure the safety and health of all persons involved.

To notify of works near electrical infrastructure requiring Sarawak Energy’s technical advice, contractors may contact Sarawak Energy's 24/7 Customer Care Centre at 1300-88-3111 or email

Damaged underground cable by third-party contractor leading to outage at Jalan Matang and Malihah areas

Cable repair works being carried out by Sarawak Energy to restore supply to customers