Chili breeding program at UKM started in 1978 by the late Professor K.M.Graham and continued in 1987 by Professor Dr Ahmed Mahir Mokhtar Bakri Mohammed.
Further research is under the supervision of the IRPA (Intensified Research in Priority Areas) led by Associate Professor Dato ‘Dr Zakri A. Hamid. Two of the researchers involved is Associate Professor Dr Ahmed Mahir Mokhtar Bakri and Associate Professor Dr Ismail Ahmad, Faculty of Science and Technology. Review screening and selection, response genotype – environment, local authentication attempts in Rhu Tapai (Terengganu), Lundang (Kelantan), Titi Gantung (Perak) and the experimental plots of SMEs (Selangor); genetic stability test, test and test steel heterosis were carried out on selected breeds of chili.
After 15 generations, variti Cilibangi like Cilibangi 1 and 2 have been developed and introduced on December 13, 1995 in Plant Biotechnology Laboratory by Professor Dato ‘Dr Sham Sani, UKM vice-chancellor at the time.
Cilibangi-3 and Cilibangi-4 has been released after 20 generations and was launched at the Plant Biotechnology Laboratory on March 5, 1998 by Associate Professor Dato ‘Dr Zakri A. Hamid, Acting Vice Chancellor of the university.
While Cilibangi 5th and 6th Cilibangi launched after 25 generations in UKM-MTDC Smart Technology on May 14, 2001 by Dato ‘Seri Hj. Hj Mohd Shariff Omar, who is the Deputy Minister of Agriculture, Malaysia. Pre infected CVMV chili (chili veinal mottle virus) was found to exhibit resistance to anthracnose (Collectotrichum capsici). Chili with low scores for both diseases have been termed Cilibangi.
In 2010, after 30 generations, a new range consists of a combination of features Cilibangi previously selected and named as Crunchious and protected under the shield Variety plant (Hak breeder) and Trademark owned by Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM).