By: Stephanie Chan Yen San & Mohd Sukor Su’ait
American Chemical Society (ACS) Malaysia Chapter along with Institut Kimia Malaysia (Malaysian Institute of Chemistry) and Curtin University Malaysia Sarawak Campus (Curtin Malaysia) had successfully concluded ACS Chemical Safety and Security Training for Academia and Industry Practitioners 2023. Held at the Swiss-Garden Hotel Kuala Lumpur on August 3rd to 5th, it was attended by 25 academician and industry practitioners from polytechnics, public and private universities, and various industries across Malaysia. These training courses are designed to build awareness of the chemical threat and encourage trainees to implement international best practices for safe and secure chemicals management in their respective laboratories and facilities. The training seeks to decrease chemical threats by strengthening the capacity of institutions to disrupt chemical attacks and promoting awareness of chemical threats and the adoption of threat mitigation and response policies and best-practices.
The three-day training, which was supported by the US State Department’s Chemical Security Program (CSP), via Sandia National Laboratories and Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA), a defense agency and a combat support agency within the US Department of Defense, was aimed at enhancing knowledge and promoting best practices in chemical security and safety among academia and industrial practitioners across Malaysia. This global initiative is aimed to implement local chemical security and safety best practices training in academic and industrial settings. Through a series of interactive sessions, expert speakers and experienced professionals shared their insights on chemical safety and security, including threats and mitigation. Leading the training was Dr. Maurine Payne, a researcher and senior member of the technical staff at Sandia National Laboratories in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Dr. Payne is involved in developing standards and guidelines for chemical safety and security for the US State Department. Since its inception in 2007, the U.S. State Department’s Chemical Security Program (CSP) has partnered with government, law enforcement, security, academic, research, transportation, and industrial communities to develop, enable, and mobilize their capabilities to prevent, disrupt, and counter state and non-state actors’ abilities to conduct chemical attacks. CSP are committed to develop partnerships in order to build a global capacity to prevent the misuse of nuclear, chemical, biological and radiological materials and providing systems and technologies that both inform and implement national security policy.
The training also featured two high-profile speakers from the Department of Chemistry Malaysia, Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (MOSTI) Malaysia, Dr. Raja Subramaniam, and Dr. Mohamed Rafiq Sulaiman. Dr. Raja holds a PhD in chemical weapon agent analysis from FOI, the Swedish Defense Research Agency, and manages activities related to chemical weapons convention, chemical weapons analysis, and Chemical, Biological, Radiological, and Nuclear (CBRN) matters at the Department of Chemistry, Malaysia. In 2019, he assumed the position of Undersecretary of Malaysia’s National Authority for Chemical Weapons Convention (NACWC). He has also served as a national inspector and Chairman of the National Scientific Advisory Board of Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC). Dr. Rafiq, meanwhile, holds a PhD from Imperial College London specializing in analytical chemistry. He is currently Scientific Officer in the Department of Chemistry, Malaysia, responsible for identification of toxic chemicals under the Chemical Weapons Convention Act and OSH Management System, in addition to overseeing the department’s Quality Management System.
The project director, Professor Ir. Ts. Dr. Stephanie Chan, said the training was a timely effort to address the increasing importance of chemical safety in Malaysia. “Chemical safety and security are paramount in ensuring the well-being of individuals and the protection of the environment. Through this collaboration, we aimed to equip participants with the necessary skills and knowledge to excel in their respective fields while adhering to the highest safety standards,” she said.
The event was officiated by ChM. Dr. Mohd Sukor Su’ait, Chair of ACS Malaysia Chapter. He was delighted to see the participation of representatives from various institutions across Malaysia, and honored the distinguished speakers in providing valuable insights into chemical threats. He also thanked the organizing committee led by Professor Ir. Ts. Dr. Stephanie Chan for their handwork. The workshop has been facilitated by ACS lead trainer, Associate Professor Dr Goh Choo Ta from the Institute for Environment and Development (LESTARI), Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, Associate Professor Dr. Lee Hooi Ling of Universiti Sains Malaysia, Dr. Mohd Firdaus Abdul Wahab of Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, Dr. May Lee LOW of UCSI University, Dr. Mohamed Ibrahim Mohamed Tahir of Universiti Putra Malaysia and Dr. Ang Chee Wei from Monash University Malaysia.
For more information, please contact Stephanie Chan Yen San and Mohd. Sukor Su’ait, ACS Malaysia Chapter, at email@example.com.
ACS Chemical Safety and Security Training for Academia and Industry Practitioners 2023
Swiss-Garden Hotel Kuala Lumpur
August 3rd to 5th