Home minister says depression taking a fatal toll on police force after two deaths since Jan 2023
KUALA LUMPUR, March 30 — There have been seven suicide cases among police officers from 2014 to 2018, Home Minister Datuk Seri Saifuddin Nasution Ismail told the Dewan Rakyat today.
He added that there have been two more fatalities within the police force this year so far, which are considered to have been caused by mental disturbance.
He said these cases signal an increase in suicidal tendencies among the police and as such, his ministry will take into account the mental wellbeing of each officer as part of the procedures before allowing them to carry firearms.
“We look at every aspect where any police officer that will be given the rights to carry firearms, one cannot have any signs of mental disturbance or depression.
“The procedure will be done as an ongoing initiative before the superior will allow that particular officer to carry a gun,” he said.
Saifuddin Nasution also said the Home Ministry’s future policies will be data driven.
He was replying to Dungun MP Wan Hassan Mohd Ramli who wanted to know the government’s measures to address mental health issues among the police, especially those who carry firearms.
Saifuddin Nasution said there are three main elements that contribute to mental disturbance among police officers, which are depression, health status and the working environment.
He added that analysis has shown that relationship failures, a change to their place of residence, loneliness from being apart from family, marriage woes, and losing self-control were contributing factors to the officers’ depression.
A Bill to amend the the Mental Health Act 2001 is currently in the works and expected to be tabled in the current Dewan Rakyat sitting as part of the government’s move to decriminalise attempted suicide.