Another Milestone Achieved by TNB to Improve Governance of National Strategic Assets, Particularly Electrical Assets

Another Milestone Achieved by TNB to Improve Governance of National Strategic Assets, Particularly Electrical Assets

Kuala Lumpur: Efforts to enhance the governance and management of the nation’s electrical energy assets have been intensified to ensure a stable supply for citizens. This initiative is being implemented through increased collaboration between the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) and Tenaga Nasional Berhad (TNB), supported by the Energy Commission (ST).

Tan Sri Dato’ Sri Azam Baki, Chief Commissioner of the MACC, highlighted the proactive steps taken during Ops Power, which successfully uncovered electricity theft cases by bitcoin mining syndicates, resulting in significant losses for TNB and the nation.

“The MACC is ready to collaborate with TNB to identify weaknesses and improve systems and governance to prevent corruption. This preventive measure is crucial to reducing leakages and ensuring the sustainability of the country’s electricity supply management,” he added. 

In a significant move to enhance the governance of electrical assets and combat electricity theft, the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC), Tenaga Nasional Berhad (TNB), and the Energy Commission (ST) have signed an agreement today at the Leo Moggie Convention Centre, TNB Headquarters, Bangsar. The collaboration stems from a major investigation, Ops Power, initiated in early 2022, targeting bitcoin syndicates responsible for massive electricity theft, resulting in losses amounting to RM2.3 billion from 2018 to 2021.

In his address, MACC Chief Commissioner Tan Sri Dato’ Sri Haji Azam Baki revealed that the investigation began with the arrest of suspects who offered bribes ranging from RM3,000 to RM300,000 to TNB employees in exchange for not taking action and leaking operational information. The MACC’s efforts led to the seizure of RM2.37 million across 998 bitcoin premises and cash amounting to RM281,180. Assets worth RM4.47 million belonging to 97 individuals, 29 companies, and 126 bank accounts were frozen. Additionally, 1,157 bitcoin machines valued at RM2.34 million, e-wallets worth RM82,000, and cryptocurrencies valued at USD 25,893.46 were confiscated, along with five luxury cars: BMW, Honda Accord, Toyota Vellfire, Ford Ranger, and Audi.

“The investigation unveiled that these 998 illegal premises were stealing electricity and using special devices to avoid detection,” Azam stated.
“This leakage occurred due to corruption, abuse of power, negligence, and irresponsibility, necessitating a collective effort to address and mitigate these issues.”

Azam outlined the MACC’s 2024 strategy, which focused on reducing such leakages to enhance national revenue. This involves collaboration with department heads, government agencies, and government-linked companies (GLCs) to identify corruption and governance weaknesses in management, administration, and procurement activities.

Proactively, the MACC has partnered with TNB and ST to address electricity loss due to system and procedural gaps.

“The aim of this cooperation is not to pinpoint faults but to recommend governance improvements, potentially saving public funds,” Azam emphasized.

Among the MACC’s recommendations is the installation of barrel locks on meter boxes at high-risk user premises, particularly in industrial and commercial areas, to enhance asset protection and reduce electricity theft and meter tampering. Additionally, targeted installation of biometric systems on PE or feeder pillars and online CCTVs at Main Intake Substations is proposed to systematically record and monitor access, deterring unauthorized entry and electricity theft.

These preventive measures have already shown positive outcomes. In 2022, TNB successfully reduced losses by 10.02%, with a further reduction of 9.25% in 2023. “We believe these initiatives will continue to decrease losses from electricity theft, ultimately saving national funds,” Azam concluded.

Together with the President/Chief Executive Officer of TNB, Datuk Ir. Megat Jalaluddin Megat Hassan, and the CEO of ST, Dato’ Ir. Ts. Abdul Razib Dawood, he signed the cooperation document at the signing ceremony of the Report on Enhancing the Governance of Coordination and Management of Electrical Energy Assets in Malaysia at the Leo Moggie Convention Centre, TNB Headquarters, Bangsar, today.

Among the improvements is the installation of barrel locks on meter boxes at high-risk premises. TNB plans to purchase 5,000 barrel lock units in 2024 using the Incentive-Based Regulation (IBR) allocation for the third period (RP3), with installation scheduled for 2025.

A keyless biometric system will also be installed on 11kV substations or low-voltage feeder pillars identified as high-risk, involving 3,000 units.

Additionally, TNB will implement online CCTV installations at Main Intake Substations and Main Distribution Substations in high-risk areas. The implementation quantity for these initiatives from 2025 to 2027 will depend on the IBR RP4 decision by the government.

These initiatives aim to enhance surveillance and control over national strategic assets, particularly electrical assets, reduce the risk of electricity theft, and provide assurance to the Malaysian government and consumers about the stability of the electricity supply through good asset management governance.

Abdul Razib emphasized, “Comprehensive rejection of corruption and the highest level of integrity can only be achieved when all parties, including ST and TNB, are committed to enhancing the application of integrity values and excellent governance, including strengthening internal controls to create a healthy work culture.”

“The MACC has provided recommendations for improving the defense of TNB assets through the Governance Coordination and Management of Electrical Energy Assets in Malaysia Advisory Report. Several discussions and consultations have been held between the MACC and ST, including with TNB. The MACC has completed its advisory report on TNB, which will be signed this morning.

“Total rejection of corruption and the highest level of integrity can only be achieved when all parties, including ST and TNB, are committed to increasing the application of integrity values and good governance by strengthening internal controls to prevent corruption, abuse of power, and misappropriation, creating a clean and healthy work culture, and thereby increasing organizational integrity.

In the fight against corruption, the government has formulated and published the National Anti-Corruption Strategy 2024–2028 (NACS), launched recently on May 7, 2024.

“NACS replaces the National Anti-Corruption Plan (NACP), which ran from 2019 to 2023. In line with the NACP, ST has developed an organizational anti-corruption plan (OACP), established an anti-corruption committee, and a working committee on integrity to address issues and weaknesses in governance, integrity, and anti-corruption within ST.

In alignment with NACS, ST will also develop the Organizational Anti-Corruption Strategy (OACS) as part of its aspirations to support the government’s goal of eradicating corruption, especially within ST itself.

In this regard, Megat Jalaluddin stated, “TNB never ceases in its efforts to ensure the safety of all its strategic assets and continuously strengthens integrity among its employees to combat negative cultures such as corruption and misappropriation.”

“This isn’t the first time TNB has collaborated with authorities to combat asset tampering by syndicates. Previous efforts, supported by the MACC, the Royal Malaysia Police (PDRM), and other local authorities, have successfully exposed syndicate activities.

The cooperation was further formalized in October 2022 through a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), expanding the scope of collaboration to include information and expertise sharing, system and procedural improvements, joint detection operations, and awareness and training programs. This initiative is aimed at continuously strengthening the integrity of TNB in line with its commitment to environmental, social, and governance (ESG) principles.

Through these measures, including cooperation with the MACC and ST, TNB strengthens its integrity as a custodian of the nation’s strategic assets, in line with its commitment to the Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) agenda, ensuring a better future for the planet and communities.

This collaboration signifies a robust commitment to integrity and efficient governance, ensuring a more reliable and secure electricity supply for Malaysia. The efforts underscore the importance of proactive measures and strong partnerships in combating corruption and safeguarding national assets.

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