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Health Director-General says Ministry of Health supports decriminalizing suicide
Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah on World Suicide Prevention Day had said that the government supports the decriminalisation of suicide in Malaysia on Friday, September 10.
The Health Director-General mentioned that decriminalising suicide would encourage those struggling with mental health issues to step forward and seek help.
In his statement, he added, “The Covid-19 pandemic had impacted the mental health of people globally which includes Malaysians. Some of these factors were caused by unemployment, source
of income and isolation from friends and family.”
The Ministry of Health will be conducting several initiatives to contribute to the prevention. Among others are reinforcing and extending access to mental health and psychosocial support services and supporting the amendment or revocation of Section 309 of the Penal Code.
Section 309 states that suicide is a crime and shall be punished with imprisonment for a term maximum of one year.
Anusha, a Malaysian human rights advocate, shared on Twitter that mental health should be taken seriously and halt punishing people.
She added, “I don’t mean sending religious officers with no training in psychology to deal with people with mental illness.”
CEO of Galen Malaysian Centre for Health & Social Policy, Azrul Mohd Khalib, said that “Decriminalising suicide should be included as this government’s KPI for its first 100 days.”
He claimed that it is a move that has a lot of public support and will go a long way towards creating safe spaces. He was firmed that repealing Section 309 will save lives.
There is no shame in asking for support. If you or anyone need a friend, call these hotlines:
1. BEFRIENDERS KL
2. TALIAN KASIH
-THE MALAYSIA VOICE