Malaysian still missing the late K-pop idol, Kim Jong-hyun

PETALING JAYA: Malaysian fans of K-pop idol Kim Jong-hyun said they would stay strong to cope with the sadness and grief over his death.

Better known by his stage name Jonghyun, the SHINee front man was found unconscious at a private hotel in Seoul on Dec 18 and died after being brought to a  hospital.

The police in Seoul are treating his death as a suicide.

Fans all over Malaysia are reacting to the incident.

Following his death, an Indonesian female fan was found unconscious from an overdose in an apparent suicide attempt, sparking a possible copycat suicide alert.

“It’s heartbreaking news for all the fans, but the idea of committing suicide has never occurred to me or any other fans that I know,” said a 25-year-old fan who wished to be known as Ammelia.

Meanwhile, experts said fans grieving the loss of their idol should find healthy ways to cope with their sadness instead of attempting suicide.

Mental Health Association deputy president Assoc Prof Datuk Dr Andrew Mohanraj said a spike of copycat suicides is a dangerous occurrence, adding that this is a phenomenon known as the Werther effect or Werther fever.

He urged those who are grieving the death of a celebrity to reach out to a trusted friend or relative, or to seek professional help.

Mohanraj also suggested that those who are grieving the loss of the K-pop star should dedicate poems on social media or organise a memorial service instead.

Universiti Malaya’s Department of Psychological Medicine Assoc Prof Dr Muhammad Muhsin Ahmad Zahari said people should be on the lookout if their loved ones are struggling to cope with the death of their pop idol.

“We must not take it lightly. They may not display outward signs of depression but they could be struggling with it internally,” he said.

Assoc Prof Dr Anasuya Jegathevi Jegathesan said fans that spend too much time following what their idols do tend to be too obsessed.

“Pop stars are just human beings who have their strengths and weaknesses. We should not live our lives based on someone else’s lives,” the academic head of the Masters in Counselling Programme at HELP University said.

Those in trouble or in need of someone to talk to can call the Befrienders at 04-281 5161/1108 in Penang, 05-5477 933/955 in Ipoh, 06-284 2500 in Melaka, 06-765 3588/89 in Seremban, 07-331 2300 in Johor Baru, or 03-7956 8144/5 in Kuala Lumpur.


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