— ST FILE PHOTO
KUALA LUMPUR – ‘GOODBYE, my friend, goodbye My love, you are in my heart.’ Russian poet Sergei Esenin wrote this suicide note in his own blood and passed it to his friend the day before he hanged himself.
When Alviss Kong, 22, decided to take his life after his girlfriend of four months left him last week, he posted a farewell status on his Facebook page together with a teary photo of himself.
The status at 11.15pm read ‘Count Down For 45 Mins…What should I do in this 45 mins?’
In the ensuing minutes, up to 204 Facebook members ‘liked’ his suicidal status post on his Facebook wall, but no one stopped him or alerted his family on his suicidal intentions. A few hours later, his body was found sprawled on a car, fallen from the 14th floor of his apartment building in Cheras, Kuala Lumpur.
Paul Jambunathan, consultant clinical psychologist at Monash University Malaysia and Sunway Medical Centre describes those who ‘liked’ Alviss’ Facebook status as ’emotional voyeurs’. ‘People love to hear about what is happening to others and how they are suffering,’ he says, linking it to the trends in today’s popular culture.
‘This culture includes suicide as an option to past history within the family or significant others, movies, lyrics and media sensationalism. They all have an effect that makes suicide an option when really it should never be,’ he says. — THE STAR/ANN