Moratorium on suicide penalties still in effect - Ramkarpal

10 Jun 2023 08:51pm
Ramkarpal Singh. - Photo: BERNAMA
Ramkarpal Singh. - Photo: BERNAMA

KUALA LUMPUR - A person cannot be charged for attempted suicide as the moratorium on enforcing Section 309 of the Penal Code is still in effect, Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister's Department (Legal and Institutional Reform) Ramkarpal Singh said.

He said the moratorium will remain in effect until the Penal Code (Amendment) (No. 2) Bill, which aims to abolish Section 309 to decriminalise attempted suicide is gazetted.

"A moratorium is in effect on the implementation of the said section pending appropriate amendments done to decriminalise attempted suicide.

"The bill has to obtain the approval of both the Dewan Rakyat and the Senate, and the Yang di-Pertuan Agong according to Article 66 of the Federal Constitution and enforced and gazetted in the Government gazette,” he said in a statement, here, today.

Therefore, Ramkarpal said it was clear that no prosecution can be carried out under Section 309 of the Penal Code as long as the moratorium was still in effect.

He was responding to news reports that a Form Three student was being investigated under Section 309 after she was believed to have fallen from the third floor of her school in Kajang yesterday.

Kajang district police chief ACP Mohd Zaid Hassan was reported to have said that the case was classified under Section 309 of the Penal Code for attempted suicide, adding that police will investigate the reasons behind the incident.

However, in the statement, Ramkarpal said the student had not been arrested and was taken straight to hospital.

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He said the Unity Government is firm in its stance to abolish Section 309 of the Penal Code and change the approach to attempted suicide from punitive to rehabilitative medical treatment.

"The approach of prioritising the interests of public health is in line with the Unity Government leadership who are concerned about the well-being of the people and are committed to implementing the law reform agenda in line with the vision of developing Malaysia Madani,” he said.

On May 22, the Penal Code (Amendment) (No. 2) Bill to decriminalise attempted suicide was approved at the Dewan Rakyat. - BERNAMA