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Terengganu Man Was Sentenced To Prison For Attempting Suicide And Malaysians Are Furious

Rights groups are calling for the Attorney-General to review the conviction.

Cover image via Astro Awani & South East Radio

A man in Kuala Terengganu was sentenced to six months of prison for attempting suicide

Image via Astro Awani

According to Astro Awani, authorities arrested Mohamad Sani Isa, who is disabled (OKU), for attempting to hang himself at his home on 23 December 2019.

On 2 February, he plead guilty and acknowledged that he understood the charge which was read before Magistrate Nordiana Abd Aziz.

The 38-year-old was charged under Section 309 of the Penal Code which states that anyone who commits suicide can be jailed or fined or both

Image via Astro Awani

Previously, the court ordered him to seek psychiatric treatment at Hospital Permai in Johor Bahru.

According to Malaysiakini, his sentence will be backdated from the day of his arrest in December.

The prosecution was conducted by assistant superintendent Mohd Ridhuan Mohina Din. Meanwhile, the accused was not represented by a lawyer.

His imprisonment has sparked an outrage on social media.

Many netizens are calling for the government to decriminalise attempted suicide.

One person wrote, "Attempting suicide is not a crime. They need counselling and unprejudiced access to medical treatment. Please decriminalise attempted suicide."

Image via Twitter

"We have hospitals but putting him in jail for attempting suicide is a better idea? So is this going to help him? He should get therapy and treatment not a punishment. What country am I living in? Ridiculous," said another user.

Image via Twitter

Another netizen said, "This is immoral. Why haven't we gotten rid of ridiculous laws like these? How will six months in jail make his life better? How will it help him feel less suicidal? A criminal record will also make it harder for him to get a job."

Image via Twitter

Two rights groups have also called on the Attorney-General (AG) to review the six-month prison sentence

Lawyers For Liberty director Melissa Sasidaran said that the conviction served no public interest, especially when the government had announced in October 2019 that it planned to decriminalise attempted suicide, reported Malay Mail.

Meanwhile, National Human Rights Society (HAKAM) secretary-general Lim Wei Jiet expressed how the Malaysian criminal justice system would come across as "lacking compassion and humanity" if the man's incarceration was allowed to continue.

In a tweet, he wrote, "The law that punishes people for attempted suicide has to be abolished. In this case, an OKU person who has met a dead end in his life is now given a jail sentence. It's unfortunate. The justice system has to show compassion instead of giving him a punishment."

Suicide is never the answer.

If you or anyone you know may be at risk of suicide, please call these Malaysian hotlines:

1. ALL WOMEN'S ACTION SOCIETY (AWAM) - TELENITA
Address: 85, Jalan 21/1, Sea Park, 46300 Petaling Jaya, Selangor.
Contact: +603-7877 0224 | Website

2. BEFRIENDERS
Address: 95 Jalan Templer, 46000, Petaling Jaya, Selangor.
Contact: +603-7956 8144 | +603-7956 8145 | [email protected] | Website

3. DBKL TELECOUNSELLING
Address: Tingkat 1, Menara DBKL, Jalan Raja Laut 50350 Kuala Lumpur.
Contact: 1800-88-2600 | 03-26179905

4. TALIAN NUR
Contact: 15999 | [email protected]

5. WOMEN'S AID ORGANISATION (WAO)
Contact: +03-7956 3488 | [email protected] | Website

Reaching out for help is not a sign of weakness:

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