KUALA LUMPUR, July 24 — The government and eight telecommunications operators have worked together to waive call charges made by the latter’s customers to the Befrienders suicide helpline effective August 1.
The eight telcos that teamed up with the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) to waive charges for Befrienders were Celcom Axiata Berhad, Digi Telecommunications Sdn Bhd, Maxis Berhad, Telekom Malaysia Berhad, TIME dotcom Berhad, U Mobile Sdn Bhd, Webe Digital Sdn Bhd and YTL Communications Sdn Bhd.
“Suicidal symptoms are a tragedy in every society, regardless of social, moral and economic aspects,” MCMC chairman Al-Ishsal Ishak said in a statement.
“Among the key steps that need to be taken is to eliminate the stigma in the community against mental illness and suicidal symptoms are through assistance such as enable access to Befrienders, which is now free for those who need advice, counselling and emotional support.
“As we advance through digitalisation, a collaborative effort that focuses on ways to leverage social media and latest technology to identify those most at risk, can be explored,” he added.