Minister: AGC studying details of proposed decriminalisation of suicide bids

Kenneth Tee
Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Liew Vui Keong said the AGC is identifying effective and appropriate options for the government to proceed with the decriminalisation of attempted suicide. — Picture by Firdaus Latif

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 30 — The Attorney General’s Chambers (AGC) is identifying effective and appropriate options for the government to proceed with the decriminalisation of attempted suicide, Datuk Liew Vui Keong said today.

Liew, who is minister in the Prime Minister’s Department in charge of legal affairs, said the mechanisms being evaluated by the AGC were drawn from models of several Commonwealth countries.

“Immediately after the AGC has conducted a study on the most suitable mechanism to be used in the country, a policy paper that is being drafted at present time will then be submitted to the Cabinet for approval.

“If approved, the amendments made to the Penal Code to abolish attempted suicide as a criminal offence in Malaysia will be tabled in the Dewan Rakyat,” he said in a statement here.

He said that over the year, the AGC has met with various stakeholders such as the Women, Family and Community Development Ministry, Youth and Sports Ministry, several psychiatric associations, Befrienders and religious associations.

“These sessions have helped the government in understanding and obtaining their views on the decriminalisation proposal,” he said.

Liew said based on the AGC’s progress, he expressed hope in being able to table the amendments at the Dewan Rakyat as early as mid-2020.

At present, attempted suicide is a criminal offence under Section 309 of the Penal Code and is punishable by imprisonment up to a year, a fine or both.

In October, Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail said the government was in the midst of evaluating and discussing with the relevant quarters to review the need to amend the law on attempted suicide.

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