Brunei Pink Lady's Attempted Suicide

A young woman believed to be undergoing counselling at the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports yesterday stopped traffic when she stood on the ministry's ledge.









A young woman in a bright pink 'baju kurung' stood on the ledge of the roof of the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports building for three hours yesterday. Firemen scaled the building and tried to talk the young lady down from the ledge. Around 5.40pm, a woman in an orange baju kurung, said to be the young lady's sister, approached her and tugged at her skirt, which made the young woman turn around and step down from the ledge.

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AUTHORITIES yesterday prevented a potentially tragic suicide attempt by a young woman believed to be undergoing counselling at the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports (MCYS).

The young lady, clad in a bright pink baju kurung, teetered on the ledge of the ministry's headquarters for over three hours yesterday afternoon, according to eyewitnesses.

Bystanders interviewed by The Brunei Times said the woman had been standing on the ledge of the roof since 2.30pm, threatening to jump, although the reason was still unknown as of press time.

According to a staff at the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports, who spoke on condition of anonymity, the young woman "was a resident of rumah kebajikan (welfare home) and was at the ministry for a counselling session".

Unconfirmed reports from those on the scene speculated that the young woman had run out midway through a counselling session. After doing so, she managed to make her way to the roof, where the tense standoff took place.

One of the bystanders, Saat Hj Masri, commented that the woman must have been familiar with the building in order to gain access to the roof, which is above the eighth floor of the structure.

"She must either work there or go there very often, otherwise how would she know how to get to the top of the roof?" said the senior citizen.

Saat also said that the Fire and Rescue Department were quick to react to a distress call, and were the first to arrive on the scene.

Firemen scaled the building and tried to talk the young lady down from the ledge, but every time someone moved closer toher, the woman stepped further away.

Hundreds of onlookers gathered to watch the drama unfold and created a major traffic jam along Jalan Kebangssan.

Sheikh Jamaluddin Sheikh Mohamed, a nearby resident and CEO of Brunei Tourism, said he heard police sirens upon leaving the office.

The police vehicles were travelling through dense traffic to get to the area. "I left the office at 4.30pm and (traffic) had already built up by then," said the senior government official. He joined other bystanders on the road leading to the ministry's compound.

The area was cordoned off by traffic police. However, the public had begun to park their vehicles and walk to the area.

By 4.30pm, Fire and Rescue personnel had set up a large green net above the main foyer of the MCYS building to break the woman's fall in case she jumped, and a giant inflatable mattress, akin to a stunt mattress, was also set up as another precautionary measure.

Authorities brought some of the young woman's family members on to the roof to appeal to her to come down off the ledge, where she had been standing for three hours under the sweltering afternoon sun. However, she remain unmoved and still refused to come down.

Around 5.40pm, a woman in an orange baju kurung, thought to be the young lady's sister, approached her and tugged at her skirt, which made the young woman turn around. She then stepped down from the ledge and was embraced by her sister, as authorities swooped in trying to bring the young woman to safety. The large crowd gathered around the MCYS compound applauded.

However, the young lady struggled against the officers and cried out hysterically as they tried to carry her to the emergency stairwell.

The Brunei Times team on the scene saw that it took three medical officers to bring the woman from the roof to the ambulance, where she was then taken to hospital.

Authorities on the scene of the incident and representatives from the Royal Brunei Police Force, Fire and Rescue Department and Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports all declined to comment when contacted by The Brunei Times.



Source: Quratul-Ain Bandial and Izam Said Ya'akub, 3 Hours on the Precipice of Suicide, The Brunei Times, 3 November 2010.