NEWS & UPDATES
Vandalism Causes Public Outcry Following Supply Interruption To Samariang, Aminuddin Baki And Santubong
27 JUNE 2023
On the evening of 24 June 2023, vandalism of a 33KV cable located between Astana and Semariang 33KV substation resulted in power supply disruptions to Semariang, Aminuddin Baki and Santubong areas.
Upon receiving outage reports, Syarikat SESCO Berhad (SESCO), Sarawak Energy’s operations and retail arm, immediately deployed its technical team to assess the situation and begin repair works, with supply to most of the affected areas successfully restored within an hour. However, due to extensive damages, the restoration of power to certain areas, extending up to Aminuddin Baki, could only be completed at 12:25am on 25 June.
Police reports have been lodged, and the utility company, in close collaboration with the Ministry of Utility and Telecommunication (MUT) and Police, is intensifying its efforts to combat vandalism, which includes increasing security patrols in the area.
Sarawak Energy has identified Petra Jaya as a high-alert area due to the frequent occurrence of copper theft cases detected there. The utility strongly condemns those responsible for such acts, including the recent damage and attempted theft of its 33kV and 11kV underground cables in Kuching – the most recent seeing three vandalism cases between 21 and 24 June 2023 alone.
As a result of these incidents, multiple power outages have occurred at various locations, including Siol Bridge, Jalan Sultan Tengah, Rampangi, Family Park, Kpg. Sg. Batu Santubong, Sg. Lumut, Telekom Station Kabel Dasar Laut, Kpg. Buntal and the surrounding areas.
Vandalism of electrical infrastructure is a serious concern with potentially significant consequences and any damage or disruption to electrical infrastructures or assets can lead to service outages, major inconveniences and safety hazards.
Since January 2023, over 66 cases of vandalism have been recorded across the state, incurring Sarawak Energy losses of more than RM1 million.
On 23 June 2023, a similar case took place in Bintulu where more than 6 lengths of 33kV electrical cables with a total length of 300 meters, were deliberately set on fire at the Seberkas road junction. As a result, a power interruption lasting 2 hours occurred, and certain areas in Bintulu experienced low water pressure.
Sarawak Energy warns the public to maintain a safe distance from live electrical facilities. Engaging in cable theft can result in dangerous flashovers, electrocution, burns, and even loss of life. Copper theft will also cause extensive damage to electrical equipment, with the irresponsible act leading to power outages, causing great inconvenience to affected residents.
Anyone observing suspicious individuals near electrical facilities should immediately lodge a report via Sarawak Energy's 24-hour Customer Care Centre at 1300-88-3111 or by emailing email@example.com. All information will be kept confidential.
Meanwhile, Sarawak Energy has implemented various measures, including increased night patrols and the installation of remote sensors to detect unauthorised entry into its facilities. The utility company is also actively engaging in awareness campaigns through media channels and collaborating with communities to educate the public on the dangers of vandalism and its consequences. Joint operations with the Police will also be conducted to inspect recycling centres and monitor the trade of stolen copper cables among second-hand dealers.
Damaged electrical cables at Jalan Diplomatik, Kuching, leading to supply interruption at Semariang, Aminuddin Baki and Santubong areas on 24 June
Sarawak Energy’s technical team immediately responded to the vandalism incident