June 22, 2023
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.
The Mental Health (Amendment) Bill 2023 passed on Wednesday (June 21) is aimed at empowering crisis intervention officers to apprehend individuals attempting to commit suicide.
On Tuesday (June 20), two other related bills, 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 on Wednesday, 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 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 remained in force and no prosecution can be conducted under this section for attempted suicides.
Ramkarpal expressed his appreciation to all quarters including MPs 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.
Meanwhile, the debate on the Renewable Energy (Amendment) Bill 2023 will continue on Thursday (June 22) when the Dewan Negara sits again. – Bernama