Atomic Energy Licensing Board (AELB) director-general Hamrah Mohd Ali.

KUALA LUMPUR:  Malaysia has taken a step forward by equipping its personnel with the skills and knowledge in handling possible chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear and explosives (CBRNe) threats.

Atomic Energy Licensing Board (AELB) director-general Hamrah Mohd Ali said the agency had experts trained to handle activities or incidences, especially on radiological and nuclear threats.

“CBRNe (attacks), if they happen in our country, will be coordinated by the National Security Council, but we will take the lead as the technical agency when it is related to radiology and nuclear threats.

“We will continue to improve our knowledge on radiological and nuclear threats through continuous engagement and exercise conducted with international parties, such as the International Atomic Energy Agency.

“We also keep up with the latest and more advance technology to detect new versions of the threats,” he told the New Straits Times.  

Counterterrorism expert Andrin Raj yesterday said the assassination of Kim Jong-nam using a nerve agent and the incident where iridium was stolen from an oil and gas exploration company in Klang recently were signs that the CBRNe threat in Southeast Asia was “realistic”. 

He said CBRNe threats had been discussed among security experts, adding that Malaysian authorities must increase their preparedness to counter any such threat to the country.

Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar, who was asked to comment on Andrin’s view, believed that all countries were exposed to CBRNe threats.

“The whole world is exposed to these kind of threats, not only in Southeast Asia,” he told the New Straits Times.

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