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‘We’re not wasting power but checking streetlights’
Published on: Saturday, July 17, 2021
By: Sidney Skinner
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The lights near the turn-off from Jalan Kolam onto Jalan Kebajikan are operating as they should.
City Hall has played down an incident where the streetlights along a section of the Kolombong-Lintas Ring Road were found to be operational on a recent weekday, saying that this was not an instance of electricity-wastage.

A spokesman for the agency’s Engineering Department clarified that maintenance work was being carried out on the lights.

“They were deliberately switched on so that our contractor could identify which of them had malfunctioned,” he said.

“We, however, instructed him not to leave the lights on for longer than was necessary.”

He was responding to a complaint about the pointless use of electricity.

City Hall was testing the lights on the divider at this part of the Lintas-Kolombong Ring Road.

A Kolombong motorist was dismayed that a local authority would allow such “wastage”. 

She said this situation was unacceptable considering calls from Sabah Electricity Sdn Bhd for consumers to conserve power and curb unnecessary use of power.

The driver, who lives in Taman Ria, felt the agency was setting a poor example for the community by failing to make prudent use of public funds. 

The spokesman explained that a contractor an underground cable servicing these facilities had accidentally been damaged by a contractor who was modifying this section of the Ring Road.

“We had to activate the lights on the divider to isolate the location of the damage so that repairs could be made,” he said.

“It would have taken longer to restore these facilities if it had been done at night.”

He said the contractor attended to the buried power line that same day.

A City Hall technician checks the control panel for the lights on the Ring Road.

“The individual has been asked to keep an eye on the lights and to ensure that they are operative. 

“He is required to do this for the duration of the work to create a diversion at this part of the main road.”

MILLY of Kolombong was driving down from the Ring Road around noon on a Tuesday, when she noticed that the lights on the divider were on.

“I wonder who is shouldering the charges for this extravagant use of electricity,” she asked.

“Is City Hall going to fork out for this usage?”

She said for several days prior, the section of the main road between Metro Town and the junction to Neutron Point had been shrouded in darkness.

“On top of having to be extra mindful of other drivers suddenly changing lanes, there was also construction work being carried out on the main road.

Milly voiced her misgivings about the lack of illumination and signs forewarning motorists to be aware of the work ahead.

“I hope the relevant agency attends to these irregularities before a bad accident occurs and someone gets hurt, or worse still loses their life.” 

The spokesman said City Hall staff would periodically monitor this part of the Ring Road to ensure that the main road was properly lit.

He said the same would be done for Jalan Kebajikan in the Karamunsing area, especially near the turn off from Jalan Kolam, to determine whether the lights are functioning intermittently.

For some reason the lights were prone to malfunctioning, according to him.

“The contractor responsible for maintaining these facilities found nothing wrong with the mechanism for the lights yet we continue to receive reports that the stretch is unlit at night,” he said.

One of the lights in Taman Sinar Baru, which has been functioning on and off, is seen above.

“We suspect that an irregularity involving the power supply might be causing the breakdown.”

He said the contractor had recently restored the lights and would be keeping an eye on the situation to determine whether these suspicions bore out.

SIEW, who lives in Taman Harrington, said the section of Jalan Kebajikan from the junction near a petrol kiosk, had not been illuminated for some time.

“I contacted the local authorities when I first noticed this problem and several days later found the lights were functioning,” she said.

“A week later, the stretch was pitch black again at night.”

She said she had phoned the relevant agency several times since then about these facilities. 

Another Luyang rate-payer has also observed that lights on his housing road have been functioning intermittently.

ALVIN, who lives in Taman Sinar Baru, voiced his displeasure about the patches of darkness along Lorong Kenawai 7B.

“Some of streetlights along this section are not illuminated at night,” he said.

He claimed that the lights seemed to breakdown on and off.

“Earlier this year, they were out of order for more than a week. The problem was reported to City Hall and shortly after this, the lights were operational,” he said.

“A few days later they were out of order again.”

He said he had grown tired of constantly having to inform the agency about the lights.

Alvin feared that unscrupulous individuals might take advantage of these streetlight problems to carry out misdeeds in the neighbourhood.

The spokesman said the contractor, assigned to look after these facilities, would be alerted to what was transpiring in Taman Sinar Baru.

“The individual will be asked to trace the source of this problem and make the necessary repairs,” he said.

“He will also be required to keep an eye on the lights on Lorong Kenawai 7B for some time to ensure that the breakdown does not recur.” 



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