Probe teen’s suicide after Instagram poll, ministry urged

PETALING JAYA: The authorities have been urged to investigate the case of a 16-year-old girl in Sarawak who committed suicide yesterday after holding a poll on her Instagram on whether she should live or die.

Bukit Gelugor MP Ramkarpal Singh (pix) said the communications and multimedia ministry should investigate the victim’s social media accounts to uncover the circumstances that led to her death.

“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,” Ramkarpal said in a statement today.

“What is equally disturbing is that some 69% 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.”

Ramkarpal’s brother, Gobind Singh Deo, is Minister of Communications and Multimedia. His ministry is in charge of the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission.

Padawan police chief Supt Aidil Bolhassan said a check of the teenager’s Instagram account revealed that she had conducted the poll at 3pm the same day, under the heading ‘REALLY IMPORTANT, Help Me Choose D/L’.

“According to a close friend of the victim, the ‘D/L’ meant ‘Death/Life’.

Based on the result of the poll, 69% of her social media friends chose ‘D’ and 31% ‘L’,” he said in a statement issued yesterday.

Aidil disclosed the victim had also updated her Facebook status with the post ‘WANNA QUIT F*KING LIFE I’M TIRED’, prior to taking the fatal leap.

Police were alerted to the incident by a member of the public, who spotted the girl’s body on the road next to a commercial block at Batu Kawah New Township around 8pm, he added.

Aidil said an investigation carried out by police at the scene found no signs of foul play, and that based on an interview with the girl’s mother, the victim had been upset with her stepfather for rarely returning to visit her.

“The stepfather, whom the victim was close to, works as a labourer in Singapore. According to the mother, he rarely returned to visit the victim after marrying a Vietnamese woman,” The Borneo Post quoted Aidil as saying.

It is said that the girl lived with her mother, who is an Indonesian, and stepbrother at a unit on the third floor of the commercial block. The girl’s body was later brought to the Sarawak General Hospital for a post-mortem.