Museum fire an 'act of sabotage'

The wax museum at Shah Alam in the Malaysian state of Selangor had exhibits of world icons and celebrities.

But some of the exhibits at The Red Carpet @ I-City were destroyed in a fire last week.

The fire is believed to have been started by three men in an act of sabotage, The Star reported.

The 10 wax figures destroyed were of the UK's Queen Elizabeth, Russian President Vladimir Putin, late Chinese leader Mao Zedong, US President Barack Obama, late Palestine leader Yasser Arafat, late South African president Nelson Mandela, actor Jackie Chan, Malaysia's first prime minister Tunku Abdul Rahman, the UK's Prince William and his wife Kate.

Two of the six sections of the Red Carpet were destroyed.

Mr Eu Hong Chew, deputy chairman of I-Berhad, the master developer of I-City, told a press conference on Tuesday that the fire was definitely an act of sabotage.

He said the exhibits could not be set on fire easily without the right chemicals.

Mr Eu, who did not state the chemical that had been used for the fire, said he was leaving the investigations to the police and fire and rescue department.

I-City information manager Tang Soke Ching said it cost about RM100,000 (S$38,000) to make the wax figure of Queen Elizabeth.


Closed-circuit television footage from the park's security cameras revealed that the arsonists went there prepared, with backpacks, head lamps and masks. They also had with torches, flammable chemicals and matches.

Mr Eu said they were not sure yet about the motive.

The break-in, which was through an unguarded emergency exit, took place when security personnel were on patrol.

Mr Eu said: "We do not have security guards placed at the exits since preference has always been on public safety and an incident like this was not foreseen."

Earlier, there had been speculation that the fire was the handiwork of some museum employees, the New Straits Times reported.

But Mr Eu denied it, saying that most of the employees are students from Universiti Teknologi Mara. He believed that they could not have committed the act of sabotage.

He said that repair and refurbishment works of the exhibits and background scenes are expected to be completed in two months and would cost nearly RM2 million.

No arrests have been made, the report said.

Get The New Paper for more stories.