I refer to the Borneo Bulletin on Tuesday, Nov 13, 2012, on the case of a "Woman leaping to her death...". The article stated "attempting suicide is an offence ... under section 309 of the Criminal Penal Code, Chapter 22. Those found guilty could face imprisonment for ... one year or a fine or both".
It seems to me that we are more intent on punishing people than helping them and that to instil fear of punishment would stop people from attempting suicide.
I think it would only resolve their commitment to ensure their death.
Doing some research, I found from BBC (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-14374296) that the criminalisation of suicide was removed in England in 1961.
Are we in Brunei still using such an outdated law?
In Malaysia, they are reviewing this law (http://www.malaysianbar.org.my/legal/general_news/anti_suicidelaw_nolionger_relevant_says_ liow.html), and Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai, the Minister of Health, stated, "If jailing a person will prevent him from committing suicide, then we should do it.
"However, we are not addressing the problem and treating him so he will not attempt to commit suicide in the future."
People who attempt suicide are people who are distressed, upset and suffering.
They are so desperate that they see death as a release. In many cases, it is a cry for help.
I know it is sinful for people to kill themselves, but people who are suffering and desperate may not see it that way, as they are not of clear mind.
They need help.
But according to this law, if they attempt suicide, and they survive, they will actually be punished for being given a second chance.
Will this ruling cause a reduction in suicides? I doubt it. What these people need is support, love and counselling.
Let us be reasonable, let us be humane, let us support these people.
I hope that this law will be changed soon.
So instead of the threat of punishment, these people may be able to get help by approaching the proper authorities.
I believe that it is better to give them hope in their time of need, and to guide them to continue living, than to threaten them to the point they will not look for help for fear of further distress.
I am concerned by the thought of a loved one, if suicidal instinct were to be punished rather than be counselled, how would you feel?