Sarawak Premier Calls for Tougher Penalties on Scrap Metal Dealers Amid Rising Theft Concerns


S’wak Premier Proposes Heavier Penalties on Scrap Metal Dealers Buying Stolen Goods

Sarawak Premier Calls for Tougher Penalties on Scrap Metal Dealers Amid Rising Theft Concerns
Sarawak Premier Calls for Tougher Penalties on Scrap Metal Dealers Amid Rising Theft Concerns


In a decisive move aimed at curbing theft and vandalism, Sarawak Premier Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg has put forth a proposal to enhance penalties for scrap metal dealers caught purchasing stolen goods. This initiative comes amidst growing concerns over the theft of utility and telecommunication infrastructure, which not only disrupts essential services but also poses significant safety risks to the public.

Proposal for Stronger Legislation

During the launch of a campaign against vandalism at the Borneo Convention Centre Kuching (BCCK), Premier Abang Johari emphasized the inadequacy of current penalties under existing legislation, particularly the Second Hand Dealers Act, 1946. He criticized the maximum fine of RM5,000 as insufficient, considering the scale and impact of theft and vandalism on public utilities.

Current Legal Framework and Challenges

Under the Second Hand Dealers Act, offenders face fines up to RM5,000 or imprisonment for up to two years for subsequent offenses. Premier Abang Johari plans to collaborate with the State Attorney General to explore amendments or additional regulations that could effectively deter illicit activities involving stolen goods. This effort underscores the state government’s commitment to tightening security measures and protecting critical infrastructure.

Community and Stakeholder Involvement

Acknowledging the role of community leaders in maintaining local security, Abang Johari urged them to actively monitor their areas and collaborate with law enforcement agencies. He emphasized the importance of vigilance and community cooperation in identifying and reporting suspicious activities to prevent further losses and ensure public safety.

Responsibilities of Utility Companies

Premier Abang Johari also called upon utility companies to enhance security measures around their infrastructure. He suggested deploying security personnel, strengthening physical barriers, and engaging local communities in safeguarding public assets. This proactive approach aims to minimize vulnerabilities and mitigate the financial and social impacts of vandalism.

Call to Action Against Vandalism

Highlighting the detrimental effects of vandalism on governmental resources and public welfare, Abang Johari urged citizens to play an active role in combating these crimes. He encouraged prompt reporting of incidents and emphasized the collective responsibility of all sectors of society in safeguarding public facilities and utilities.


The proposal by Sarawak Premier Abang Johari Tun Openg to impose stricter penalties on scrap metal dealers involved in purchasing stolen goods reflects a proactive stance against theft and vandalism. By addressing legislative gaps and promoting community engagement, the state aims to reinforce security measures and protect essential services vital to public well-being.


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