Malaysians addicted to Internet, says minister

Malaysia's Deputy Minister of Communications and Multimedia Jailani Johari said research showed that of the 24.1 million Malaysians who use the Internet, 80 per cent spend an average of four hours each day on social media.
Malaysia's Deputy Minister of Communications and Multimedia Jailani Johari said research showed that of the 24.1 million Malaysians who use the Internet, 80 per cent spend an average of four hours each day on social media. PHOTO: THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK

SELANGOR (SIN CHEW DAILY/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - More than three in four Malaysians between the ages of 20 and 40 are addicted to the Internet, said Malaysia's Deputy Minister of Communications and Multimedia Jailani Johari.

Calling the situation alarming, Mr Jailani said research showed that of the 24.1 million Malaysians who use the Internet, 80 per cent spend an average of four hours each day on social media.

Of this number, 76.1 per cent are between the ages of 20 and 40, while 15.5 per cent are 19 or younger.

"The younger generation is addicted and unable to disconnect from Internet," said Mr Jailani, after attending a circumcision ceremony held at Hulu Terengganu parliamentary constituency where he is the elected MP.

He added that his statements were based on the findings of a three-phase study conducted by the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC), and which began in 2010.

The first phase of the study, which surveyed 725 respondents, also showed that 60 per cent showed elevated levels of anxiety and 32 per cent had depression.

Mr Jailani said the MCMC has proposed to set up a "safe cyber centre" to curb Internet addiction, and is working to promote its "Internet awareness programmes".