LAST_UPDATEWed, 24 Jan 2018 9am

Internet Addiction In Malaysia At Epidemic Proportions: MCMC Study

HULU TERENGGANU: Internet addiction among Malaysians has reached an alarming rate, Deputy Communications and Multimedia Minister Datuk Jailani Johari said on Friday.

He said the findings of a three-phase study conducted by the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) from 2010 until the present time are cause for serious concern.

In the first phase of the study carried out on 725 respondents, up to 89 per cent were found to be addicted to the internet.

In addition, 60 per cent of the respondents showed elevated levels of anxiety, and 32 per cent suffered from major depression.

Jailani revealed that of Malaysia’s 24.1 million internet users, 80 per cent access the web for social media usage, with the average usage period being over four hours a day.

He added that 76.1 per cent of heavy internet users are youths between the ages of 20 and 49.

"This MCMC study is being conducted in collaboration with academicians from local private universities, namely the International Medical University and the Heriot-Watt University Malaysia.

“We are now moving into the second phase, with the development of intervention modules and programmes to address problems of anxiety and depression among internet users," Jailani said.

He added that in 2015, the government began working with the Education Ministry in training 34 school counsellors in the implementation of intervention modules and programmes in selected schools throughout Malaysia as a measure to control internet addiction.

"This includes intervention modules to address internet gaming and pornography addiction," Jailani added.