Malaysia to beef up defence against bio-chemical threats

Updated On: Jun 03, 2005

Kuala Lumpur – Malaysia is stepping up efforts to enhance its capability in dealing with biological and chemical threats. Among other things, the Malaysian army will set up a unit skilled in handling biological warfare in each of its divisions.

    Army chief General Abdul Aziz Zainal said on May 31 that the pioneer squadron had been established in the 3rd Division comprising members of the Engineering Corps. The  biological warfare unit would be equipped to respond quickly to emergencies and trained to administer first aid before the arrival of other rescuers. 
    The government also plans to set up a multi-agency task force next year to tackle the threat of biological micro-organisms and chemicals. It will comprise experts and scientists from universities and fthe Ministries of Health; Science, Technology and Innovations; Defence; Internal Security; Agriculture and Agro-based Industries; and Foreign Affairs. 
    “The aim is to come up with strategic measures, through an integrated and coordinated surveillance system, to detect and contain the threat from viruses, bio-chemicals and weapons which can undermine the nation’s economic and political stability,” Deputy Defence Minister Zainal Abidin Zin said on May 31.  
   “These specialists, who will be equipped with antidotes and counter-measures, will be relied upon to respond in emergencies,” he added.

* Task force to fight biological, chemical threats (New Straits Times, June 1)

* Army to set up biological warfare unit in each division (The Star, June 1)