Alternative Mechanism Needed Prior To Decriminalisation Of Attempted Suicide

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PUTRAJAYA: The Attorney-General’s Chambers (AGC) is in the midst of finding an alternative mechanism suitable and effective to tackle mental health issues before a proposal to decriminalise suicide attempts can be tabled to the Cabinet.

Law Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Liew Vui Keong said this is being done by studying different mechanism models from several Commonwealth countries.

“As soon as the study is completed, a policy proposal will be prepared to be tabled to the Cabinet for approval.

“If approved, a bill to amend the Penal Code to decriminalise suicide attempts in Malaysia will be tabled at the Dewan Rakyat.

“Looking at AGC’s development right now, I hope to table the bill by the middle of 2020 at the soonest,” the minister said in a statement on the status of the government’s plan to decriminalise suicide attempts.

Liew said soon after he announced the plan to decriminalise suicide attempts earlier this year, the AGC had begun studying the matter and looking into ways to implement the progressive approach in a holistic manner.

The AGC, he said had also held engagement sessions with various stakeholders, including the Women, Family and Community Development Ministry, Youth and Sports Ministry, psychiatrists association, Befrienders, as well as religious associations to get their opinions and suggestions on the matter.