Bill to decriminalise suicide attempts after AGC completes study

Putrajaya wants to abolish attempted suicide as a crime. (File pic)

KOTA KINABALU: De facto law minister Liew Vui Keong said he expects to table the amendments to the Penal Code to decriminalise suicide attempts in parliament in the new year.

He said a policy working paper will be drafted for Cabinet approval before the amendments can be presented to parliament.

Liew said the working paper will be drafted after the Attorney-General’s Chambers completes its study for a “suitable alternative mechanism” to effectively curb suicide.

“Earlier this year, I announced that Putrajaya wanted to abolish attempted suicide as a crime,” he said in a statement today.

“Subsequently, the AGC began studying the proposal and had engaged with various stakeholders, such as the community, family and women development ministry, the youth and sports ministry, psychiatrists’ bodies, the Befrienders and religious bodies.

“These sessions have allowed us to understand their views on the matter. But before we can decriminalise suicide attempts, there must an alternative mechanism to handle this mental health issue.”

Liew said the mechanism will be the main area being studied by the AGC, which is looking at solutions used by Commonwealth nations to deal with the problem.