Decriminalising suicide: Govt’s move gets the thumbs-up


KUCHING: The Mental Health Association of Sarawak (MHAS) has welcomed the move by the government to decriminalise suicide and the support to fine tune amendments to the Penal Code in this regard.

“We feel that Malaysians are well aware of the tragic act and the effects of suicide toward the sufferers, families, and society.

“This act is attributed to the poor mental health of the sufferers. We hope that more people who are having mental health issues or problems will come forward early for help,” MHAS president Dr Ismail Drahman said when contacted.

He added that decriminalising suicide could also reduce the stigma towards suicide and mental health problems.

He said this when commenting on Deputy Health Minister II Datuk Aaron Ago Dagang’s recent statement in the Dewan Rakyat that the move to decriminalise suicide has been set in motion, with the Cabinet to finetune amendments to the Penal Code on the matter.

“We would like to thank the relevant authorities for their concern and fast action with regard to this issue.”

Dr Ismail also shared earlier statements issued by MHAS which stated that back in the old days, people thought such laws would deter people from ending their lives and to repeal them would run the risk of there being more attempts. However, MHAS pointed out that both were myths.

“When people are so desperate as to attempt suicide, they are not thinking of surviving and facing prosecution.

“As for the idea that repealing would lead to an increase, the World Health Organisation reported in 2014 that most countries decriminalised years ago and there was no evidence to show this caused a rise; on the contrary, data showed it was more likely to decrease,” said MHAS in one of its earlier statements.

MHAS also pointed out that here in Sarawak, progress was being made to increase awareness on mental health and provide more assistance to people, including those who are so depressed that they are contemplating suicide.

“This is thanks to the state government, the Health Department, and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) working in the field such as MHAS and Befrienders.” 

Abang Johari receives Japanese visitors

BY JACINTHA JOLENE KUCHING: Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg received two courtesy calls at his office in Wisma Bapa Malaysia...

Share post:

Our Opinion

More like this

Borneo Cultural Museum ready to welcome visitors mid-year

KUCHING: The Borneo Cultural Museum here, which is touted...

Water treatment plant in Lawas being mulled, says Awang Tengah

LAWAS: The state government plans to construct a water...

RM50 mln set aside to build state’s OKU community centre

KUCHING: Sarawak has approved RM50 million under the 12th...

Have a heart; provide OKU-friendly facilities

KUCHING: Building designers and authorities who issue occupation permits...

Welfare of retired athletes taken care of: Fatimah

KUCHING: Sarawak’s retired national athletes are well taken care...

Entertainer cum entrepreneur donates medical supplies to SGH

KUCHING: A Sarawak-born entertainer and entrepreneur Dr Jessie Chung...

Implementing agencies must nip problems early

SAMARAHAN: Contractors involved in the construction of major bridges...

Follow SOPs, Uggah tells ferry users

BY JACINTHA JOLENE KOTA SAMARAHAN: Ferry users are reminded to...