An aerial view of the Penang Bridge December 14, 2021. — Picture by Sayuti Zainudin
By Opalyn Mok
Thursday, 02 Jun 2022 1:48 PM MYT
GEORGE TOWN, June 2 — Penang police records show there have been 233 suicide cases from 2020 to May 2022.
State police chief Datuk Mohd Shuhaily Mohd Zain gave the breakdown as 78 cases in 2020, 114 last year, and 41 as at May this year, putting the average number of cases annually at 77.
“Based on statistics, a total 20 cases were at the Penang Bridge in which seven were for this year as at May,” he told a press conference at the police headquarters here today.
He added that a special action unit has been formed that will see traffic policemen patrol Penang’s two bridges and be on the lookout for potential suicides as a preventive measure, following the recent spate of cases that have garnered public attention.
“All suicide cases are under the police jurisdiction and we investigate all of these cases under sudden death report (SDR),” he said.
He said the police are working with several parties, including non-governmental organisations, to find a solution to the worrying increase in suicides.
“Suicide is a sensitive issue especially for their family members so it is difficult for us to reveal the motives behind the suicides, whether it is due to personal issues, family issues or financial issues,” he said.
“A focus on the frequency of reports of suicide cases at the Penang Bridge can also lead to others attempting suicide by jumping off the bridge,” he added.
He thanked the marine police Wilayah 1 team, the Fire and Rescue Department and local fishermen for their help in searching the waters off Penang for jumpers.
Shuhaily also noted that the marine police’s main duty is to ensure coastal safety from Selangor to Perlis, but they had often been roped in to help search-and-rescue operations in suicide cases.
“In these three years, the marine police Wilayah 1 team had successfully saved at least 10 victims who had jumped,” he said.
He said the team had also successfully seized RM1.3 million worth of contraband goods between January and May this year.
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