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PUBLISHED: Jul 22, 2015 6:35pm

10,000 squatter homes in Sabah using electricity illegally

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SANDRA SOKIAL By:
Sandra Sokial

Sabah Electricity Sdn Bhd (SESB) general manager (asset management) Muhamad Nazri Pazil says SESB conducted more than 100 operations yearly to curb power theft, mostly in Sandakan, Tawau, Lahad Datu, Semporna and Kota Kinabalu.

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KOTA KINABALU, July 22, 2015:

Over 10,000 illegal squatter houses in Sabah are enjoying free power supply, courtesy of illegal connections.

Sabah Electricity Sdn Bhd (SESB) general manager (asset management) Muhamad Nazri Pazil said their statistics showed there were 111 squatter colonies statewide.

SESB, he revealed, conducted over 100 operations yearly to curb power theft, mostly in Sandakan, Tawau, Lahad Datu, Semporna and Kota Kinabalu.

“But there is very little we can do due to limitations in the existing provisions and laws against such acts,” he said in a statement.

The recent death involving an on-duty fireman, and a policeman in Tawau four years back, reflects the danger of illegal power connections, not just to the public but also the illegal end users.

Nazri said a stand on illegal squatters must be made “once and for all”.

“It’s a neverending battle for us to curb power theft and it will not end until the government acts on this.”

Meanwhile, SESB will no longer be alone in curbing power theft, thanks to the Eastern Sabah Security Command (Esscom) commitment to lend a helping hand.

Esscom chief executive officer Ruji Ubi, in giving the assurance to SESB, said their enforcers were all ready to assist, especially where security is concerned, during operations to trace illegal power connections.

“We have joined in integrated operations to rid illegal immigrants within the Eastern Sabah Security Zone (Esszone) area, and we are willing to extend the scope to also assist in curbing power theft,” he said at a press conference.

Ruji was commenting on Sabah Fire and Rescue Services Department director Nordin Pauzi’s call for assistance from the authorities to curb illegal power connections.

This came after one of his men was electrocuted after stepping on live illegal wiring while putting out a bush fire at Mile 7, Taman Kenari in Sandakan, on Monday afternoon.

Fireman Apolos Jeremos, 25, and his team was responding to a 2.59pm distress call when he accidentally stepped on the live wire, which was stealing power supply from a sewerage plant in the area for villagers at a squatter colony nearby.

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