Gov't targets mid-2020 to table amendment decriminalising suicide

Nigel Aw


The government is targeting the middle of 2020 to introduce an amendment to the Penal Code in the Dewan Rakyat to decriminalise suicide.

Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Liew Vui Keong (above) said since the government announced its intention for decriminalisation early this year, efforts have been in the works to formulate an alternative to imprisoning people who attempt suicide.

"Throughout the year, the Attorney-General's Chambers has conducted engagement sessions with various stakeholders, including the Women, Family and Community Development Ministry, Youth and Sports Ministry, psychiatric associations, Befrienders and also religious associations.

"Before decriminalising suicide, there needs to be a suitable and effective alternative mechanism in dealing with this mental health problem.

"The mechanism is the main thing that is being studied by the AG Chambers, based on different models in a few Commonwealth countries," he said in a statement today.

Liew said as soon as the AG Chambers completes its study on the most suitable mechanism for Malaysia, a policy working paper, which is already being drafted, will be presented to the cabinet for approval.

"If approved, the amendment to the Penal Code to decriminalise suicide will be tabled in the Dewan Rakyat.

"Considering the development at the AG Chambers, I hope the tabling of the amendment in the Dewan Rakyat can be done as soon as the middle of 2020," he said.

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