A Singaporean man who set himself on fire at a Johor Baru petrol kiosk on Saturday had been arrested last year on drug charges, his brother said.
Mr Lew Soon Kiang, 42, has only a 1 per cent chance of survival after suffering severe burns that cover his entire body, Lianhe Wanbao reported, quoting his brother, who was not named.
“His whole body has been burnt black, and doctors say that he has only a 1 per cent chance of survival. They told us to prepare for the worst,” the brother told Wanbao.
The evening daily reported on Saturday that Mr Lew bought fuel at the kiosk across from Plaza Pelangi, a shopping centre that is popular with Singaporeans.
Eyewitnesses told Malaysian daily Sin Chew Jit Poh that he walked a few metres away from the kiosk to the main road and sat down on the kerb.
He then poured the fuel over himself and set himself on fire with a cigarette lighter. Still aflame, he fell into a drain before the flames were put out by a passer-by using a fire extinguisher.
Johor police confirmed the incident, which occurred at around 9.30am.
Emergency services took Mr Lew to Sultanah Aminah Hospital, The New Paper said.
He was arrested last year for taking drugs. But he disappeared two days before he was due to appear in court, his brother said.
He said Mr Lew had dabbled in a few businesses, ranging from fashion to selling mobile phones. He set up an apparel company in 2010, according to Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority Singapore records.
Mr Lew has a young daughter with his girlfriend, the brother said, but they did not get married because the girlfriend is still legally married to another man.
The brother said he and Mr Lew used to be close, but recently fell out over money matters.