Suicide cases highest among young Indian men in Malaysia

Kuala Lumpur, Sep 8 (IANS) The highest number of suicide cases among youths in Malaysia are males of Indian descent, a new study has revealed.

“The suicide rate among youths was 1.03 per 100,000 population in 2009, accounting for the male gender (66.0 percent), with Indians being the highest suicide completers (40.4 percent and 5.6 per 100,000 population),” a recent study published in the Asia-Pacific Psychiatry journal has revealed.

“The most common method of suicide was hanging (56.6 percent) followed by self-poisoning (15.1 percent),” Malaysiandigest.com news portal reported, citing the study.

Another study, published in The Scientific World Journal in 2014, had echoed the same, saying that the Indian population in Malaysia makes up the largest percentage of people who attempt suicide.

The article said that from the year 1969 to 2011, Indians had the highest suicide attempt rates at 3.67 per 100,000. The Chinese followed at 2.44 per 100,000 and Malays had rates as low as 0.32 per 100,000.

“Some of the risk factors among Malaysian Indians which could explain the higher number of suicide attempts in this group are poverty (a majority of Indians are from the lower social class) and alcoholism,” the researchers highlighted.

Also, psychiatry morbidity, caste issues, other social distress, cultural and religious factors and attitude to suicide contributed to the cases.

“On the other hand, it is much more difficult for Muslim Malays to attempt suicide since it is against their religion,” the researchers added.

“Education also contributed to some differences; 89 percent of the studies showed that suicide attempters had secondary level of education compared to primary and tertiary,” researchers noted.

In 2015, some high profile suicide cases which grabbed media attention involved Malaysian Indians.

In May, an Indian journalist had jumped in front of a train and was killed.

In another case, a woman shot a video threatening revenge — in the form of killing her child — from her grave before committing suicide.

The video went viral and on the same weekend, her one-year-old daughter died.

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