Crime & Justice

Malaysia says will decriminalize attempt to suicide

Bangkok, Apr 4 (EFE).- Malaysian Justice Minister Azalina Othman announced Tuesday having presented a proposal before the legislature to amend the Penal Code to decriminalize attempt to suicide attempt, currently punishable by up to one year in prison and a fine.

In a statement, Othman underlined that incitement to suicide will remain a crime, but for those trying to take their own lives, the problem needed to be treated from a medical and psychiatric point of view.

The minister said that this new move sought to prevent suicides, as well as encourage people with suicidal thoughts to ask for help and to end the stigma in such cases.

The announcement comes a day after the Malaysian Parliament approved the abolition of the mandatory death penalty, which until now was automatically applied to 11 crimes, among them drug trafficking.

The move is part of the reforms undertaken by Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim, who came to power in November 2022 after more than two decades in the opposition and several stints in prison on charges he describes as politically motivated.

According to a 2022 study by “Frontiers in Psychiatry,” Malaysia recorded a suicide rate of 5.6 per 100,000 people between 2017 and 2019, which is average compared to other Southeast Asian countries and lower than in countries such as the United States, Germany, the United Kingdom and France. EFE


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