KUCHING, May 18: The owner of a double-storey house at Jalan Stapok here was caught stealing electricity after hidden wires behind meter cut-out fuses were discovered during a meter inspection operation carried out by Sarawak Energy recently.
According to Sarawak Energy Berhad (Sarawak Energy) in a media release, this tampering method is common and its meter inspection team is professionally trained and equipped with the necessary tools to detect this method.
“The illegally connected cables tap electricity directly from the mains to the premises, bypassing the meter. This results in the electricity consumption not being registered at all.
“In addition to electricity consumption not being read at all, tampered wiring can still be energised even after supply to the premises is disconnected,” the statement explained.
Sarawak Energy pointed out that this posed electrocution risks to electricians working on internal home wiring or firefighters in the event of a fire incident.
“The meter and illegal wiring were dismantled and seized as evidence, and the customer will be called in for a statement to assist in the investigation. A police report has been lodged based on the case findings at the scene,” it added.
The utility company reminded the public that unregistered electricity consumption is regarded as stealing electricity in Sarawak and a criminal offence under Section 33(5) of the Electricity Ordinance, which carries a penalty of up to RM100,000 and/or five years’ jail if found guilty.
“Unsafe wiring connections pose a serious safety risk due to the potential threat of electrical fire and electrocution.”
Sarawak Energy also strongly reminded customers not to offer a bribe to its staff to cover up power theft activities as they will not hesitate to report such cases to the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) and other relevant authorities for further action.
The public are advised to report to the authorities any Sarawak Energy employee requesting a bribe to cover up power theft activities for customers.
“Sarawak Energy’s continued efforts to instil ethical behaviour in its employees in line with the company’s code of ethics include constant reminders to embed respect and integrity in their interactions with customers in the course of their duties,” it emphasised.
Customers are also reminded not to trust service providers claiming to be able to reduce electricity bills or allow premises owners to enjoy limitless electricity through meter tampering as meter inspection teams are trained to detect tampered meters, including fake electricity meter covers, as part of Sarawak Energy’s efforts to curb power theft.
Sarawak Energy appreciates the support from members of the public and encourages reporting of power theft information, including details of power theft service providers via Sarawak Energy’s customer care centre at 1300-88-3111 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
It gave assurance that all information obtained will be kept strictly confidential. — DayakDaily