Malaysian teen jumps to death after Instagram poll, sparks call for probe

Nellie Chapman
May 18, 2019

Malaysian police are investigating the case of a teenager believed to have jumped to her death after asking her social media followers to vote on whether she should kill herself.

Apps like Instagram have also changed the way we socialize and make important decisions, so it's the need of the hour to make sure that we lay the foundation for the upcoming generations to help them understand the ramifications of getting deeply involved in the virtual world.

Lawyer Ramkarpal Singh said: Maybe the girl would still have been alive if people did not inspire her to die through the Instagram account.

"We also suggest contacting a helpline and offer other tips and resources for people to help them in that moment", she said.

Or perhaps the insecure teen simply needed to have social media validate her subconscious desire to take her own life?

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In the wake of the recent suicide by a 16 year old teenager from Sarawak triggered by an Instagram poll, MCMC recently sent out a statement reminding everyone that it is in fact illegal to spur a suicidal minor on or encourage those looking to suicide (up to 20 years jail time and fines). Malaysian youth and sports minister, Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman, said, "It is very unfortunate a young life was lost in this manner".

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The MCMC said that the kes is under police investigation under Section 305 of the Penal Code where it is an offence for abetting a suicide.

A preliminary investigation has reportedly indicated that the teen may have been frustrated with her father's recent marriage in Singapore and the fact that he rarely came back to Malaysia to see her.

The girl's body has been taken for a post-mortem, but officers say the death is not being viewed as suspicious. But even if she explicitly wrote "live" and "die", I don't think people would take it seriously.

"I'm genuinely anxious about the state of our youth's mental health", Syed said.

Ching Yee Wong, Head of Communications, Instagram APAC, said: "Our thoughts and prayers are with this young woman's family".

The social media giant admitted that it wouldn't be easy to fix.

In February, Instagram announced that it would add "sensitivity screens" to block images that promote self-harm or suicide.

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