Is Tenaga Nasional Berhad required to prove that there was interference of its meter by the alleged party before it may succeed in its claim for loss of revenue from interference of its meter?
NG KEE WEI V. TENAGA NASIONAL BERHAD  1 LNS 7
- Ng Kee Wei (“Ng”) was a customer of Tenaga Nasional Berhad (“TNB”).
- Ng ran a hotel business (“Hotel”) and TNB supplied electricity to this Hotel.
- TNB had conducted an inspection at the premises of the Hotel and found that the electricity meter had been interfered with.
- The interference had caused a lower reading of the electricity consumption.
- Ng’s defence was that there was no evidence to support the fact that there was interference of the meter and that even if there was interference of the meter, TNB had failed to show that it was Ng who was responsible for the interference.
- At the lower court, the learned Sessions Judge had entered judgment in favour of TNB and Ng appealed to the High Court.
HIGH COURT DECISION – APPEAL DISMISSED!
The High Court dismissed the appeal on the following basis:
- It is an established principle of law that TNB is not required to prove the offence of tampering committed by its registered consumer before it can succeed in its claim for loss of revenue.
- This is because the registered consumer will otherwise have escaped liability if he is “ingenious” enough to engage a third party to damage or tamper with the meter.
- Being a commercial contract, it is not commercially sensible to construe the contract between Ng and TNB as requiring TNB to first prove that the damage or tampering was done by Ng before TNB could succeed in its claim.