Sign in to your account.

Status Brief

Developmental Milestones/Developments to Date:

Current Assessment/State of the Field:




Editors, “Planned Malaysian Biolab Raises Security Concerns,” Global Security Newswire September 8, 2010. Last checked September 10, 2010.

  1. “Plans to construct a high-security biological research laboratory in Malaysia have caused some worry over possible proliferation of highly lethal disease materials, ProPublica reported yesterday.”
  2. “Maryland-based Emergent BioSolutions and Ninebio Sdn Bhd., which is funded by the Malaysian Health Ministry, in 2008 announced a joint plan to construct a large complex at an industrial site not far from Kuala Lumpur for ‘vaccine development and manufacturing.'”
  3. “Emergent is the producer of the only U.S.-licensed anthrax vaccine. The Emergent-Ninebio venture intends to manufacture halal-compliant vaccines for the international Muslim market. The complex is currently slated to begin work in 2013, according to an Emergent release.”
  4. “The two firms intend to construct a ‘biocontainment R&D facility that includes BSL … 3 and 4 laboratories,’ According to online architectural plans for the 52,000-square-foot complex.”
  5. “Biosafety Level 4 laboratories perform countermeasure research on diseases for which there are no known cures, such as the Ebola and Marburg viruses. There are fewer than 40 such facilities in the world and none in Malaysia. The nation has three BSL-3 laboratories, which handle potentially deadly pathogens like anthrax and plague.”
  6. “U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Vann Van Diepen said during a House panel hearing in March that a critical aspect of today’s biological weapon fears is ‘the growing biotechnology capacity in areas of the world with a terrorist presence.'”
  7. “Malaysia’s history with terrorism includes the 2002 bomb attack by Malaysian-based extremists from Jemaah Islamiyah that killed 202 people at a popular nightclub in Bali, Indonesia. Kuala Lumpur served as the ‘primary operational launchpad’ for al-Qaeda senior operatives planning the Sept. 11 attacks, according to the FBI. The Malaysian capital was also a key hub in the nuclear technology smuggling ring operated by Pakistani nuclear scientist Abdul Qadeer Khan (see GSN, March 14, 2005).”
  8. “Security specialists argue that having a U.S. firm such as Emergent involved in Malaysia’s growing biotechnology industry would give Washington some degree of clout and authority over international biodefense work.”
  9. “Malaysian authorities want the high-tech laboratories to respond to local epidemics of diseases such as SARS and Japanese encephalitis in addition to advancing research on cures for biological materials that could be used in acts of terrorism.”
  10. “Kuala Lumpur has started to develop new biological security regulations that would meet U.S. standards. It has received assistance in the effort from the U.S. Energy Department’s Sandia National Laboratories, ProPublica reported.”
  11. “…and monitoring of biological manufacturing installations under the Biological Weapons Convention. The United States and Russia, however, are against site inspections and the likelihood of more effective oversight controls being put into effect is not known.”
  12. “‘We currently do not have [BSL-4] labs in Malaysia but we would be happy to collaborate with the government of Malaysia on biosurveillance, safety and security in the future,’ a Defense Department spokesman said (Coen/Nadler, ProPublica, Sept. 7).”

BSL, Malaysia, Vaccination, Nonproliferation, Bioterrorism, Public Health, Military, State Department


Wong, Pauline, “Bioweapons Bill with AG by year-end,” The Sunday Daily, 4/25/2012, last checked June 26, 2012.

  1. ” The proposed Bioweapons Bill, which is aimed at safeguarding the country against germ and chemical warfare, will be presented to the Attorney-General’s Chambers by year-end. “
  2. ”’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,’ Defence Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi told theSun today. However, he did not elaborate on the contents of the bill.”
  3. ”Zahid had last June, during the Biosecurity, Biosafety and Biodefence International Congress 2011, said the bill would be the focus of the ministry for the year, and that the congress would help kickstart the ministry’s efforts to seek expert opinion.”
  4. ”The ministry’s Science and Technology Institute for Defence director-general Datuk Dr Abdul Ghaffar Ramli previously said the bill’s main purpose is to ensure no party will be able to make, or harbour biochemical materials here with the intention of using them for mass harm.”
  5. ”’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.”
  6. ”Ghaffar said Malaysia has been a signatory to the Biological Weapons Convention since 1972, but the Convention has not seen a great involvement from Malaysia nor the world community.”
  7. ”If the bill is passed in the future, even research facilities and university laboratories will be subjected to inspection for possible dangerous biochemical materials, and some may have to be licensed or audited, Ghaffar said.”

UNSCR 1540, Malaysia, Law Enforcement