Suicide usually occurs when a person feels they have run out of solutions to problems that they face in life. To them, these problems seem inescapable, intolerably painful, and never-ending. But, suicide is a permanent solution to problems that are actually temporary. Trite though it is, “all things come to pass.”
A 49-year old Chinese man must’ve been experiencing these very feelings on Saturday (24 Nov) when he stood at the edge of the main corridor barrier of Suria KLCC’s sixth floor and threatened to jump if anyone went near him.
The authorities reported that the fire department received a distress call regarding the incident at 4.52pm and deployed fifteen personnel, who installed a net on the first floor as a precautionary measure. After more than two hours, it was during a moment of distraction that rescuers managed to grab the man and haul him to safety.
While there are many speculations as to why the man wanted to end his life, there have been some details of the man’s situation that have been revealed.
According to NST, about an hour before the man threatened to jump from Suria KLCC’s sixth floor, he met with Kepong MP Lim Lip Eng.
Lim shared the information via a Facebook post several hours after the incident. Lim did not clarify what exactly it was that the man demanded, though China Press reported that the man had wanted the MP to accompany him to a police station to lodge a police report.
However, as Lim had an urgent meeting to attend to, he could not immediately cater to the man’s request. Instead, Lim asked him for his contact details so that he could contact him later. The man was infuriated by this and shouted at Lim before storming out of the office and apparently making a beeline for Suria KLCC.
— Sammthaa🌊 (@slhr0751) November 24, 2018
Bomba and police personnel present at the scene believe that the man is suffering from mental health issues as he kept talking about different problems he has been facing in his life, but he couldn’t keep to one story.
During the standoff, he had complained that his wife divorced him and took their child with her. He also claimed that he had been hypnotised by a woman who misused his credit cards and cheated him out of RM60K.
Suicide trial at KLCC. pic.twitter.com/vwFHhpJjPY
— Sofea Shahrol (@sfezrn) November 24, 2018
Whatever the man’s reasons for wanting to end his life, several people at the scene of the incident were disturbingly ridiculing him, laughing at him and some even encouraged him to jump.
Here were some of the tweets that were posted during the time of the incident, showing how insensitive some Malaysians were to this man’s plight.
Translation: “Taking so long to jump”
Translation: “He wants to jump? Please request that he does a backflip”
Translation: “The suicide attempt at KLCC earlier today is called being dramatic. Just tie bricks to your legs and jump into a river, so much easier. If you really want to look for publicity, then join MENTOR OTAI, it’s so much more awesome. If you’re lucky you can even become a celebrity.”
Translation: “The person who tried to kill themselves in KLCC just now is such an idiot. So uncivilised”
Translation: “Dying in KLCC would be so GRAND 🤘🏼”
Translation: “While everyone else was busy watching the fire brigade trying to save the Chinese guy attempting suicide, I was busy choosing what to eat from a menu. My hunger was more important, if I don’t eat, then I could die, and who would save me?!”
Translation: “The time it’s taking for him to just jump is pissing me off. He’s already smashed his phone on the metal railing and thrown that down. He’s even thrown his wallet. Unfortunately, there’s already a safety net on standby for him on the first floor. So, he can forget about killing himself. Maybe he can just try slitting his wrists at home instead.”
Translation: “Of all places to commit suicide, KLCC is the place he chooses. He obviously just wants to become viral. Wouldn’t it be easier for him to just sit on some train tracks? No one would stop him then. If, of course, he really wants to commit suicide la”
It was reported that the man has since been handed to the police for further action. In case you didn’t know, attempting suicide is considered a crime in Malaysia. According to section 309 of the Penal Code, whoever attempts to commit suicide will be faced with imprisonment for up to one year or a fine or both.
This man’s case has resulted in The Malaysia Crime Prevention Foundation (MCPF) urging the government to review the existing laws to not criminalise those who attempt suicide.
Malaysiakini reported that MCPF senior vice-chairperson Lee Lam Thye noted that affected persons are not criminals, but may be suffering from mental illnesses, such as depression. He added that these people must be given psychiatric treatment and rehabilitation.
“Criminalising depressed persons or those who are mentally sick is inhumane, unthinkable and unacceptable,”
When faced with someone who wants to end their life, what do you think would be the best course of action? Should we entertain the topic with them? Or should we shut them down, and tell them to stop being dramatic? Or, do we threaten them with punishment to prevent them from considering the idea of suicide in the first place?
If you or anyone you know may be at risk of suicide, ending your life is not a solution. Despite what it feels like right now, things will change, eventually. Please reach out for help. The Befrienders are a free 24-hour counseling service that you can reach at 03-79568145.
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