Malaysia drafts bill to ensure implementation of biological weapons convention

The Malaysian government recently drafted a bill it said would be part of the legislative framework that ensures the implementation of the biological weapons convention.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak announced that his government was confident that the resulting legal framework would help develop a secure and safe regime for handling hazardous biological materials, according to

In a speech read by Defense Minister Datuk Seri Dr. Ahmad Zahid Hamidi at the opening of the three day International Conference on Biosecurity, Biosafety and Biodefense, Najib said that the new laws would not harm life sciences researchers, advocates and business entities.

Najib made it clear that the government was seeking feedback and input on how it can accelerate biodevelopment while ensuring continued adherence to biosafety concerns. International collaboration, according to Najib, will be needed to effectively combat biothreats, as well as up-to-date laboratory analysis, emergency response and communications systems, reports.

"Biodefense responsiveness is a national and international security matter as bio threat could take place at any time," Najib said, according to

Dr. Ahmad Zahid told reporters at the conference that the Defense Ministry would draft the bill in collaboration with the Science and Technology Research Institute for Defense.