KUCHING, May 15: Bukit Gelugor MP Ramkarpal Singh has urged the authorities to investigate the recent suicide case of a 16-year-old girl from Batu Kawah, here, who allegedly leapt to her death after holding a ‘live or die’ poll on her Instagram (IG).
According to Padawan district police chief Supt Aidil Bolhassan, about 69 per cent of her IG followers supported the victim’s decision to end her life via the poll, which was created around 3pm on May 14.
Ramkarpal, in a media statement today, said the Ministry of Communications and Multimedia, in particular, should investigate the social media accounts of the victim and the circumstances that led to her death to prevent further abuse of social media in similar circumstances in the future.
His brother, Gobind Singh Deo, is the Minister of Communications and Multimedia, which is in charge of the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission.
“The recent suicide of a 16-year-old girl in Batu Kawah, Sarawak, is most unfortunate and a reminder of how some people are vulnerable and the need to take this seriously.
“Although it is still too early to determine what exactly happened, it is possible that the girl was suffering from depression and contemplated suicide as a result,” he opined.
However, Ramkarpal emphasised the disturbing fact that some 69 per cent of the teenager’s Instagram followers had reportedly supported her desire to take her life in an online poll that she had posted on the said social media site just before she died.
Police investigation revealed that the victim created an IG poll which read: ‘REALLY IMPORTANT, Help Me Choose D (Death)/L (Life)’. And based on the result of the poll, 69 per cent of her social media friends chose ‘D’ and 31 per cent chose ‘L’.
Apart from IG, she also posted a Facebook status with the post ‘WANNA QUIT F*KING LIFE I’M TIRED” prior to taking the fatal leap.
“How some netizens could have actually condoned this is beyond me,” Ramkarpal stressed.
As such, he viewed that classifying the case as sudden death at this stage might not be the right decision without further investigation.
“Would the girl still be alive today if the majority of netizens on her Instagram account discouraged her from taking her own life?
“Would she have heeded the advice of netizens to seek professional help had they done so?
“Did the encouragement of those netizens actually influenced her decision to take her own life?” he asked.
Ramkarpal also cited the case of one Michelle Carter in the USA in 2017, in which the girlfriend of a man who committed suicide was found guilty of involuntary manslaughter for encouraging him to commit the said act. She was sentenced to two-and-a-half year’s imprisonment as a result.
“I am not suggesting that this incident is on all fours with the Carter case but proper investigations should be carried out to determine what exactly happened.
“It is important that incidents such as this do not repeat themselves in the future and the matter must be thoroughly investigated as such and not treated as an isolated case.
“Since suicide is an offence in this country, it follows that abetting one to commit suicide may be too,” he shared. — DayakDaily