KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 24 – The focus on decriminalising suicide has to be heightened to collect more and better data in order to provide help for those who need it.
Dr Lee Boon Chye, deputy minister for health, said that the government is hoping to relaunch the National Suicide Registry (NSR) next year, but is facing challenges in developing it due to the existing laws.
“Prior to the registry being developed, we need to decriminalise suicide.
“This must be the first step, because if we do not decriminalise suicide, suicide cases will be underreported, and the registry won’t be accurate and incomplete,” he said, according to the Malay Mail.
Speaking in Parliament, Dr Lee added that the amendment to Sections 306 and 309 of the Penal Code which punishes suicide attempts and those abetting it, will allow the government to provide better aid for those with suicide tendencies.
Several government agencies and mental health organisations, such as the police, the Fire and Rescue Department, the Attorney General’s Chambers, the Ministry of Health; the Ministry of Women, Family and Community Development; as well as the Ministry of Education; are currently in discussion to decriminalise suicide attempts by way of the said law amendments.