Dewan Negara approves final bill on decriminalising suicide bids

21 Jun 2023 08:18pm
Parliament - FILE PIX
Parliament - FILE PIX
KUALA LUMPUR - The Parliamentary process to decriminalise attempted suicides has been completed with the passing of the third and final bill on the matter in the Dewan Negara today.

The Mental Health (Amendment) Bill 2023 passed today is aimed at empowering crisis intervention officers to undertake apprehension of individuals who try to commit suicide.

Yesterday, two other related bills, namely the Penal Code (Amendment) Bill (No. 2) 2023 and Criminal Procedure Code (Amendment) Bill (No. 2) 2023, were also approved by the Dewan Negara.

Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Law and Institutional Reform) Ramkarpal Singh wound up the debate on the three bills related to the decriminalisation of suicide attempts.

The three bills were tabled for first reading in the Dewan Rakyat by Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Law and Institutional Reform) Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said on April 4 and approved on May 22.

In a statement today, Ramkarpal said the three bills needed the consent of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong in accordance with Article 66 of the Federal Constitution.

"They will then be gazetted in the Government Gazette before coming into force,” he added.

He said pending the completion of this process, a moratorium on the implementation of Section 309 of the Penal Code is still in force, and thus no prosecution can be conducted under this section for attempted suicides.

Ramkarpal expressed his appreciation to all quarters including Members of Parliament who had given their full support to this effort, which will change the approach towards suicide attempts from punitive to one that is treatment based.
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