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The armed conflict that took place in former British Malaya from 1948 to 1960 left the country with surplus ammunition and mines that the Malaysian government has sought to address ever since. Due to explosive remnants of war, parts of the territory remain dangerous and require clearance work. In addition, stockpile management is necessary to contribute to demilitarisation and prevent the diversion of weapons and ammunition.1

The UN Regional Centre for Peace and Disarmament in Asia and the Pacific (UNRCPD) and Nonviolence International are working on the ground to support the through-life management of ammunition, in collaboration with the Malaysian government. Efforts have focused on physical security and stockpile management and included conducting seminars and training sessions with Malaysian military and police forces on the safe and secure management of ammunition, and identifying gaps in national ammunition diversion strategies.2

“A Short Guide To The Malayan Emergency,” Imperial War Museums, accessed June 5, 2022,

“Ammunition Management Activity Platform (A-MAP),” GICHD, 2022,

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Further information

Accidental explosions

Since the Small Arms Survey began collecting data in 1979, one accidental explosion has been reported in Malaysia.

Table 1. Accidental explosions in Malaysia (1979–2021)

Year Location Owner/manager Deaths Injuries
1998 N/A State (miltary) N/A N/A

Source: “Unplanned Explosions at Munitions Sites (UEMS) Database,” Small Arms Survey, updated December 15, 2021,

Cases of diversion

Table 2. Cases of diversion of arms, ammunition and explosives in Malaysia since 2000

Year Location Description
2000 Kuala Lumpur

A group of men posing as high-ranking military officers raided two military arms depots and seized more than 80 M-16 rifles, 2 Steyr assault rifles, 5 grenade launchers, 4 heavy machine guns, 6 light machine guns, more than 4,000 rounds of ammunition, and 60 40 mm mortar shells.

Source: Thomas Fuller, “Malaysia Armory Thieves Surrounded,” New York Times, July 5, 2000,


Insufficient information on the disposal of ammunition in Malaysia.


To further enhance safe and secure ammunition management, the following need has been identified for Malaysia:

  • Development or refinement of standards and procedures on stockpile management.

Source: Malaysia, National Report on the Implementation of the Programme of Action on Small Arms and Light Weapons (PoA) and the International Tracing Instrument (ITI) (New York: Permanent Mission of Malaysia to the UN, 2020),

Published Date: Monday 13 of November 2023