The reasonable response to mental illness and violent crimes

By Dr. Chua Sook Ning Mental illness is often brought up as a possible cause when an incomprehensible violent crime is committed. The authorities usually just say “mental illness”  without further explanation or specification. Here are just some recent cases in Malaysia where the authorities have implicated mental illness: Assault and arson ( Gun violence […]

Sexual recidivism is not a mental illness

By Dr. Chua Sook Ning The NST Online report of Selva Kumar Subbiah addressed the social stigma against convicts and rightly affirms the civil rights of all citizens regardless of one’s past. Unfortunately, the article ends with this: “The American Supreme Court has interpreted this recidivist tendency as a mental health problem and sentences of […]

Mental health in prison

By Dr. Chua Sook Ning In the past week, there has been a great deal of attention on the incarceration of certain prominent activists, leading many Malaysians to protest against SOSMA and its application. Since 2000, the prison population in Malaysia has doubled and many of these offenders do not have anyone to speak up on their […]

Placing suicide in context

By Dr. Chua Sook Ning In 2005, the Ministry of Health (MOH) conceded that the rate of suicide is severely underestimated and that the true rate of suicide ranges from 10. 5 – 13.5 people per 100000 (Malaysia Health 2005, p. 162). Below is a screenshot of the summary posted in the report.   How does the rate […]


To donate, please click here: The 2015 National Health and Morbidity Survey found that 1 in 3 Malaysians are suffering from a mental health problem. There are only 1 psychologist and 1 psychiatrist per 100000 people. That absolutely blows my mind. There are very few mental health resources in Malaysia, and in particular for Bahasa Malaysia speaking individuals.   30% […]

National Mental Health Strategic Action Plan announced

With the sharp increase of mental health problems, the ministry of Health is planning to  come up with a National Mental Health Strategic Action Plan. It is intended to be a comprehensive plan that puts programs and strategies to “tackle the problem”. It is unclear what the government conceptualises as the problem. The government does intend to increase awareness […]

Mental illness prevalence increase

The numbers are out – 30% of Malaysians are suffering from a mental health problem. In 2011, the Ministry of Health reported that every 1 in 10 Malaysians suffer from a mental health problem and today, the research shows that it is 1 in every 3 Malaysians. Read more at