Selangor Journal
A general view of the Dewan Rakyat during a session at the Parliament, Kuala Lumpur, on December 19, 2022. — Picture by REUTERS

Bill to amend Mental Health Act tabled for first reading

KUALA LUMPUR, April 4 — A bill to amend the Mental Health Act 2001 (Act 615) was tabled for its first reading in the Dewan Rakyat today.

The Mental Health (Amendment) Bill 2023, tabled by Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Law and Institutional Reform) Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said, among others, allows crisis intervention officers to apprehend any person who attempts to commit suicide.

Through the bill, crisis intervention officers may also apprehend any person whom they have reason to believe is mentally disordered and can pose a danger to themselves, other persons, or property.

In addition, the crisis intervention officer may, when exercising the power under subsection (2) break open any outer or inner door or window of any premises and enter into, or otherwise forcibly enter the premises and any part of the premises or remove by force any obstruction to such entry.

The bill also states that the crisis intervention officer who has apprehended the person under subsection (1) shall, as soon as practicable, but not later than 24 hours after the apprehension, bring the person to a medical officer in a government psychiatric hospital or a registered medical practitioner in a gazetted private psychiatric hospital for examination.

The crisis intervention officers mentioned include police officers, social welfare department officers and members of the Malaysian Civil Defence Force.

Azalina also tabled the Penal Code Bill (Amendment) (No.2) 2023 and the Criminal Procedure Code Bill (Amendment) (No.2) 2023 for first reading.

According to her, the three bills will be tabled for second reading at the next Parliament session.

— Bernama

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