Mental Capacity Act being mulled to enable advance planning

KUALA LUMPUR: Legislation is being mulled to allow individuals to prepare for the management of their affairs using power of attorney should they become mentally incapacitated, says M. Kulasegaran.

The Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Law and Institutional Reforms) said the Legal Affairs Division is looking into enacting the Mental Capacity Act.

“These decisions can be made by the person in advance to prepare for a situation should he become mentally incapacitated. It also includes situations where a person may be undergoing surgery or is suffering from temporary mental incapacity.

“This new legislation will be a transformational legal instrument in Malaysia to assist in the care and management of those who become mentally incapacitated,” Kulasegaran said while officiating a forum on Mental Capacity Act for Malaysia 2024, Bernama reported.

According to him, the present Mental Health Act 2001 only allows the court to establish a committee to look after the affairs and estate of a person with a mental disorder after the person is already mentally incapacitated.

“The proposed Mental Capacity Act will overcome this by allowing advance planning before the occurrence of mental incapacity,” he said.

The government, he added, would meet with stakeholders to discuss the proposed Act.

“A policy paper will be tabled in the Cabinet, hopefully this year, to obtain approval before the drafting of the legislation can begin,” he said.

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