I SUPPORT the view of Health Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai that the anti-suicide law is no longer relevant.
And I am also pleased that the Health Ministry wants a softer stance on those who are arrested for attempting to commit suicide.
Liow said that Section 309 of the Penal Code, which carries a one-year jail term or fine, or both, for those convicted of suicide attempts, was no longer relevant.
"If jailing a person will prevent him from committing suicide, then we should do it."
However, Liow added that we are not addressing the problem and treating the potential suicide victim so that he would not attempt to commit suicide in the future.
Although the law is rarely invoked, Somalian student Ibrahima Oumar Viallo, 25, was sentenced in May to two months' jail by a magistrate's court for attempting suicide.
I am also happy to note that the Malaysia Law Reform Committee began reviewing the law last month.
Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Liew Vui Keong was quoted as saying that the committee had been instructed to look into a review of Section 309.
Let us help these troubled people, not trouble them more.
They need our assistance and locking them in prison cells won't help.
Such ways do not work anymore today.
At the same time, the increase in suicide cases from 290 in 2008 to 328 and 425 in 2009 and 2010 respectively is troubling.
We all need to work together to reduce these suicide figures.
What plans does the Health Ministry have regarding suicide prevention?