Jailani: Internet addiction has reached alarming rate

jailani-johari-internet-malaysianHULU TERENGGANU: Addiction to the internet among Malaysians has reached an alarming rate, says Deputy Communications and Multimedia Minister Jailani Johari.

Jailani, who is also Hulu Terengganu MP, said this was based on findings of a three-phase study conducted by the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) from 2010 until Friday (Dec 15).

He said in the first phase of the study carried out on 725 respondents, 89% were found to be addicted to the internet.

In addition, 60% of respondents showed elevated levels of anxiety and 32% had major depression.

“The MCMC study is 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, the government began working with the education ministry from 2015 to train 34 school counsellors for the implementation of intervention modules 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 that 24.1 million Malaysians used the internet for a variety of activities.

He added that 80% used the internet to access social media with average usage of over four hours a day. 76.1% were youths aged between 20 and 49.