Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak said his nation was prepared to use new legislative penalties aimed at hindering the illegal transport of nuclear material and other WMD materials, Agence France-Presse reported yesterday (see GSN, April 6)
"Malaysia is committed towards ensuring that nuclear materials and technologies do not fall into the wrong hands," said Razak, who was in Washington for the Obama administration's nuclear security summit (see GSN, April 14).
Lawmakers in Kuala Lumpur earlier this month approved the Strategic Trade Bill which stipulated that illicit trafficking of WMD materials or technology would result in a prison term of not less than five years and millions of dollars in fines.
This new legislation was "only the first step," according to Najib.
"The Malaysian government therefore intends to see to it that this legislation is strictly enforced and that our law enforcement agencies are provided with the necessary resources to do so," he said.
Kuala Lumpur in 2008 acknowledged that a Malaysian citizen had participated in the supply of nuclear technology to Iran, but said the government was not involved.
A Sri Lankan citizen residing in Malaysia was also connected in 2004 to providing Libya with nuclear weapons technology to Libya and to participating in a nuclear black market led by Pakistani nuclear scientist Abdul Qadeer Khan (Agence France-Presse/Google News, April 14).