By Nigel Edgar
KUCHING, May 6: Dr Ting Tiong Choon (DAP-Pujut) suspects some incidences of meter tampering reported in Miri were the work of ‘insiders’ from Syarikat Sesco Berhad (Sesco).
He told the august House this afternoon that rather than trying to pin down unsuspecting customers who complained to him every week, Sesco should check its own “backyard” if any of their personnel were involved in meter tampering.
“I am in no way condoning the electricity theft. In fact, I think Sesco should be serious in identifying the real culprits, and I would suggest Sesco have a serious check in their own office backyard whether some of them may be involved in and responsible for power meter tampering throughout Sarawak,” Dr Ting said in his debate on the TYT speech.
He cited a complaint by his constituent who received an invoice dated May 19, 2016, totalling RM935.80, consisting of RM400 admin fee, RM500 MTF bill and RM35.80 arrears bill.
“The arrears bill of RM35.80 was due to alleged tampering of electricity meter by the business owner, Mdm Teo, with an account number ending 5192. Following my enquiry, the business was operating for 19 months between 2012 and 2013, and the total electricity consumption during that period was 38,840 units.
“The arrears amount of RM35.80 is equivalent to 114 units or 0.29 per cent discrepancy in alleged electricity theft. And this was confirmed by a Sesco staff in Miri with engineering qualification on April 25, 2019, 4pm phone call.
“According to a tender document to ‘Supply and Delivery of Digital Power Meter’ Ref No PCI1/16/FEN by Sarawak Energy in 2016, the requirement for Measurement Accuracy and Class was plus minus 0.5 per cent (Class 5).
“Now the measurement error for Sesco Digital Power Meter is +- 0.5 per cent, and yet Sesco is alleging her customer of stealing RM35.80, a mere 0.29 per cent of discrepancy in analogue power meter consumption over 19 months and a whopping fine of RM900.
“Can the Minister please make sure Sesco stop this barbaric act and stop harassing the public?” asked Dr Ting.
He also pointed out the monopoly by Sarawak Energy and alleged constant bullying of customers despite earning an annual profit of about RM1 billion although supply and customer service had been very poor and unreliable.
There has been frequent or even daily unplanned power interruption in Miri, where businesses have been suffering losses and residents inconvenienced, he claimed.
“It is time the Sarawak government deregulate the retail arm of electricity supplies in Sarawak to create a competitive supplier market, a better customer service and, hopefully, much cheaper power cost for Sarawakians,” said Dr Ting. — DayakDaily