Kuala Lumpur bioweapons legislation moves forward

Malaysian officials recently announced that they will be prepared to submit a major bill regulating potential bioweapons research to the Attorney General's Chambers by the end of the year.

The legislation, which has already been written, is due to be presented to the Malaysian Defense Ministry for review next week, according to TheSunDaily.my.

"We will be going into the details (of the bill) and seek opinions from the related agencies and parties. It has been drafted, now it's the feedback stage," Defense Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said, TheSunDaily.my reports.

Ahmad Zahid said that the legislation would be forwarded to the attorney general after the next general election and hopefully before next year.

The defense minister did not comment further on the contents of the bill, but it is believed to contain regulations that will give the government the right to inspect, license and audit research facilities and university laboratories that develop biochemical materials that could be used to produce weapons agents.

Director-General Datuk Dr Abdul Ghaffar Ramli of the defense ministry's Science and Technology Institute for Defense previously said that the bill was written to ensure no one in Malaysia would be able to make or keep biochemical materials in the country.

"There is a world concern about the proliferation of biological weapons. This is seen as a poor-man's weapon of mass destruction as the equipment to create these weapons are becoming cheaper and smaller," Ghaffar said, TheSunDaily.my reports. "So we have to create a law here to say that nobody is allowed to assist or create such biological materials for the use of warfare or mass destruction."