The Dewan Negara yesterday passed two bills on the decriminalisation of attempted suicide.
They are the Penal Code (Amendment) (No. 2) Bill 2023, and Criminal Procedure Code (Amendment) (No. 2) 2023.
The bills were tabled for a first reading by the Minister in the Prime Minister's Department (Law and Institutional Reform) Azalina Othman Said on April 4 and passed in the Dewan Rakyat on May 22.
While winding up the debate on the bills, Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister's Department (Law and Institutional Reform) Ramkarpal Singh said there were several provisions which provide that a person who attempts suicide must be taken to a medical facility for treatment.
"The priority in these amendments is to rehabilitate a person who is thinking of taking his or her own life. That will also take a long time because it involves a psychological process and so on to rehabilitate the person," he said.
Meanwhile, the debate on the Mental Health Act 2001 (Act 615) will continue today.
Previously, Azalina said the bill to decriminalise attempted suicide contained four measures, including the retention of the offence of abetting suicide under Sections 305 and 306 of the Penal Code.
She said it also differentiated between the categories of those who are incited to commit the actions of attempted suicide or suicide.
Other measures include amendments to the Mental Health Act 2001 that will define the post and powers of crisis intervention officers, as well as a moratorium for the implementation of Section 309 of the Penal Code until the repeal of the section is completed and gazetted.