Johor cops suspect foul play in separate fires that broke out just a day apart at Batu Pahat surau and mosque

BATU PAHAT, Jan 16 — Police in Johor are looking into the causes of two fires at a mosque and a surau in Sri Medan here that happened just one day apart.

A 10.46pm fire at the Kampung Parit Simis mosque, completed in November 2022, last Sunday caused over RM150,000 in damages.

Barely 24 hours later, the Ar-Raudah surau nearby was wrecked in another fire.

“This is the second fire in a row involving a Muslim place of worship in Sri Medan.

“The police have taken an interest and are investigating both incidents under Section 436 of the Penal Code for committing mischief by fire,” Batu Pahat police chief Assistant Commissioner Ismail Dollah told reporters here today.

He related that a passer-by spotted the fire at the surau and called for help.

He added that several residents took about 15 minutes to put out the flames, but the damage had been done with the fire taking out the premises’ wiring system, furniture, carpets and air conditioners.

Kampung Parit Simis mosque committee chairman Mat Sunari Paiman was cited in several local news outlets saying Fire and Rescue Department personnel had found traces of petrol under the carpet, in addition to broom sticks believed to be used to ignite the fire.

Yong Peng fire station chief and operations commander Assistant Fire Superintendent Asyraf Nur Mohd Yusoff said a distress call about a fire at the surau came in at 11.38pm yesterday.

Part of the damaged Ar-Raudah surau in Parit Bangas, Batu Pahat after a late night fire on January 16, 2024 — Picture courtesy of the Johor Fire and Rescue Department.

He said 18 firemen from the Yong Peng and Penggaram fire stations, two Fire Rescue Tenders, and two Emergency Medical Rescue Service support units were despatched to the surau immediately.

He added that 40 per cent of the surau was destroyed but no one was reported injured.

The Fire and Rescue Department is still investigating the cause of the surau fire.

Johor Islamic Religious Affairs Committee (MAINJ) chairman Mohd Fared Mohd Khalid said he was grateful there were no injuries reported in both fires.

He called for a full investigation if both fires involved an act of mischief.

“If it involves the issue of electrical wiring, I will make sure that all surau and mosques in Johor are inspected so that any unfortunate incidents due to electrical wiring will be immediately repaired,” he wrote in the latest post on his official Facebook today.

Mohd Fared, who is also the Semerah assemblyman, said that MAINJ will assist to financially cover the cost of repairs.

He hopes that donations will also help to speed up the repairs to the affected surau and mosque.

 

 

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