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Most suicide cases are not tried
Published on: Sunday, September 18, 2016
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Kota Kinabalu: Most attempted suicide cases are not brought to court due to the emotional and mental health of the persons, said State Police Central Intelligence and Crime Unit officer DSP Yazrie Ismail.He said those cases, which are dealt with on a case-to-case basis, would be given as 'No Further Action' (NFA) by the Senior Federal Counsel (SFC).

"Attempting suicide is a criminal offence under Section 309 of the Penal Code that carries a maximum jail of one year or a fine, or both, upon conviction.

"But if you ask me whether such cases have been prosecuted in court, we (police) would not recommend the cases be brought to court and we suggest the NFA so as not to add more stress to the accused.

"This is because the person who failed in the bid to take his or her life has already shown signs his or her mental health is not stable and we (police) do not want to intensify the persons' mental and psychological condition for which clearly they need help," he said.

Yazrie said this in his talk as an invited speaker from the Sabah police in a Forum on Suicides, organised by Befrienders Kota Kinabalu, here, Saturday.

Over 100 people, including university students, took part in the one-day forum which is the first-ever hosted by Befrienders Kota Kinabalu in observance of the commemoration of World Suicide Prevention Day 2016.

Yazrie said even abettors who encourage any person of unstable mental health to commit suicide is also committing a crime for doing so.

He said they could be charged under Section 306 of the Penal Code for abetment of suicide that carries a punishment of a maximum 10 years' jail and also liable to a fine, upon conviction.

"Abetment of suicide of child or insane person is a bigger crime as the accused could be charged under Section 305 of the Penal Code that carries a maximum jail of 20 years and also liable to a fine, upon conviction.

"As you can see, any kind of abetment that provokes and incites a person to commit suicide is a serious crime given that the punishment is over 10 years compared to attempted suicide where the jail punishment is up to a year only," he said.

Based on the world statistics for 2015, Yazrie said Korea ranked on top of the list with highest number of suicides with 33.33 per cent, followed by Hungary (22.5 per cent), Japan (22.3 per cent), Russia (20.9 per cent) and China (19.8 per cent).

As for Malaysia, he said a total of 425 suicide cases were registered in 2015 whereby 234 suicide cases involved hanging, followed by 72 cases of jumping from high rise buildings, 43 cases of self-poisoning normally by drinking pesticides and 76 cases of other methods of suicides.

To a question from the audience, Yazrie said other means of committing suicides involve slitting the wrists and inhaling carbon monoxide inside a car through a hose that is connected from a car's exhaust while the engine is running, among others.

Mostly, he said, the suicide cases in 2015 occurred between 6am and noon when there were not many people around to advise or stop them from committing suicide.

As for Sabah, he said a total of 31 cases were recorded throughout 2015, namely 12 cases of hanging, followed by five cases of jumping from high-rise buildings, two cases of self-poisoning and six cases of other means of suicide, that occurred between 10pm and 6am.

To a question, Yazrie said in some cases bodies were found and classified as sudden death reports (SDR) by police based on preliminary investigation.

Under the standard operating procedure, he said the bodies would be sent for post mortem and the police would wait for the pathologist's reports before taking appropriate action whereas some reports would reveal that the deceased died due to heart attack, for instance.



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