Kuala Lumpur: A Malaysian professor says he has invented a bulletproof vest made of coconut fibre and fibreglass that is much lighter and cheaper than a conventional flak jacket.

Mohammad Dan Mohammad Palil, professor at the Technical University of Melaka, said he hoped to get the go-ahead from the Malaysian government to start mass producing the protective gear, made of layers of coconut fibres and fibreglass.

"It's much lighter and cheaper," Mohammad Dan told AP yesterday, comparing his invention to conventional Kevlar vests that offer a similar level of protection.

The coconut fibre vest weighs only around 3 kilograms and could be retailed for less than 2,000 ringgit (Dh2,166), Mohammad Dan said.

A conventional jacket weighs about 9 kilograms and costs the equivalent of 16,000 ringgit (Dh17,256).

The 63-year-old professor worked two years with his post-graduate students to perfect his invention. They completed their work last year, testing the vest at a firing range.

"It conforms to international standards," the proud inventor asserts.