Malaysian garments firm denies insurance fraud behind store fires

Malaysian garments firm denies insurance fraud behind store fires


A major textile company in Malaysia has denied allegations that insurance fraud was behind the fires that burned its store in Shah Alam.

On Jan. 1, a fire broke out at Jakel Group’s Shah Alam branch, causing at least MYR100 million (SG$30 million) in damage to the five-storey building. Two days later, another fire broke out. The second fire was suspected to have been sparked by reignited embers from the first blaze. No casualties were reported in either instance.

Datuk Seri Mohamed Faroz Mohamed Jakel, the group’s managing director, said that the rumours spreading on social media about insurance fraud were baseless, as the store that burned was the group’s second-most profitable outlet.

“In the current situation, with the year-end sales, the shop was full, and business is thriving,” Faroz was quoted as saying by Free Malaysia Today. “We don’t want to resort to any dirty work. Moreover, the [fire] insurance claim would not even match Jakel’s sales volume, especially during festivities and the year-end.”

At the time of the fire, the store was gearing up for a period of high sales, with Hari Raya Aidilfitri marking the end of Ramadan in April.

“Insurance claims cannot be done in a month, not even six months,” Faroz said. “That’s one thing. The other is the missed opportunity, people who want to do business can make a profit, now that Hari Raya is near.”

Authorities are still investigating the cause of the fire.