The National Fatwa Council issued the ban yesterday but permitted the use of the drug for treating medical conditions such as cerebral palsy on the condition that it must be used only when a specialist deems the treatement necessary for patients who do not have any other alternative.
"The council arrived at the decision after studying reports from abroad, local specialists and fatwas (decrees) made in Middle Eastern countries," Council Chairman Shukor Husin was quoted the New Straits Times today.
Botox, a powerful neurotoxin introduced two decades ago, is widely used to cure facial problems but is best known for its cosmetic qualities. It paralyses facial muscles, giving foreheads a relaxed, wrinkle-free appearance.
The Fatwa Council advises the Malaysian government on Islamic regulations and does not carry the force of law but all Muslims in the country are required to obey its edicts and those who ignore it commit a sin.