So who are those who voted for Death in the IG suicide poll?

The victim is a 16-year-old girl

By Huzraifah Atikah

This week Malaysians and the rest of the world were shocked to hear about the suicide of a teenage girl after a poll on Instagram and this has raised many questions about the moral responsibilities of social media users.

Many are now urging the authorities to act against those who voted for the Sarawakian girl, who was believed to have been suffering mentally.

It is crucial for all social media users to understand that everyone should take responsibility for their postings, comments or even reactions on social media.

Who are the people who voted for her to die and what were they thinking? Should they be hauled up? 

Even the Youth and Sports Minister Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman has also waded into the issue saying he viewed the matter seriously.

He lamented that most Malaysians tend to brush aside mental health issues, saying it is "fake".

"It is not just about suicide – mental health affects the quality of life and health of our youth. More importantly is to jump-start a national discussion so that we can collectively resolve the issue," he said.

 He noted that six out of 10 Malaysian youths have mental health issues, while a majority of suicide victims are young.

"I will be hosting a dialogue and have invited several experts to sit on the panel," he added.

Malaysian Psychiatric Association patron Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye is among those calling for more to be done to address mental health issues.

He also suggested setting up an alert system to notify concerned parties of suicidal postings on social media.

Meanwhile, Bukit Gelugor MP Ramkarpal Singh urged authorities to investigate the victim's social media accounts, on the basis that those who voted for her to die may be found responsible.

"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?" he asked.

"Since attempted suicide is an offense in this country, it follows that abetting one to attempt suicide may be, too," the DAP lawyer added.

Ramkarpal cited a US case in 2017, where a woman was found guilty of involuntary manslaughter for encouraging her boyfriend to commit suicide.

Last Monday, the 16-year-old girl committed suicide after conducting an online poll on her Instagram account at about 3 pm, with the question: "Really Important, Help Me Choose D/L". 

Based on an explanation by her close friend, it is believed that D is referred to as ‘Death’, while L refers to ‘Live’. The poll result showed that 69% voted for Death and only 31% voted for Live.

No one could possibly imagine all the horrible things that were running through her mind when she saw the results. She had also posted in her Facebook account saying: "Wanna Quit F**king Life I'm Tired".

It is a clear sign that she was struggling with issues and needed help. But it seemed like nobody took her words seriously.

Sadly, she had jumped from the third floor of a shoplot and around 8pm, her lifeless body was found on the street below. Her brother, who was on his way home after having dinner with their mother, saw her lying in a pool of blood.

Padawan district police chief Supt Aidil Bolhassan said no criminal elements were uncovered at the scene of the incident and the case has been identified as sudden death.

It is learned that the victim was disappointed with her stepfather who works in Singapore, after he married a Vietnamese woman, which resulted in him not visiting Kuching as frequently as he used to.

However, it is not clear of what other things that she could have been struggling with. 

So, what happened to humanity or empathy? Many netizens were also questioning about the girl’s friends who voted for Death on her IG poll. Some of them say: