HULU TERENGGANU, Dec 15 – Addiction for the internet among Malaysians has reached an alarming rate, said Deputy Communications and Multimedia Minister Datuk Jailani Johari.
Jailani, who is also Hulu Terengganu Member of Parliament, said this was based on findings of a three-phase study conducted by the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) from 2010 until today.
He said in the first phase of the study carried out on 725 respondents, 89% of them were found to be addicted to the internet. In addition, 60% of these respondents showed elevated levels of anxiety and 32% of them had major depression.
“This MCMC study is being conducted in collaboration with academicians from local private universities namely International Medical University and Heriot-Watt University Malaysia.
“We are now moving onto the second phase with the development of intervention modules and programmes to address problems of anxiety and depression among internet users,” he told a press conference after officiating a Hulu Terengganu parliamentary constituency circumcision ceremony.
According to Jailani, from 2015 the government had begun working with the Education Ministry in training 34 school counsellors for the implementation of intervention module and programmes in selected schools throughout Malaysia as a measure to control the addiction.
“This included the development of intervention modules in addressing internet gaming and pornography addiction,” he said adding 24.1 million Malaysians use the internet for a variety of activities.
He added that 80% of the people use the internet for social media access with average usage over four hours a day and 76.1% of them were youths aged between 20 and 49 years old. — Bernama