KUCHING: The state government has no restriction on the use of Internet and social media channels among youths but responsibility and self-censorship must be upheld at all times.
Chief Minister Tan Sri Adenan Satem said among the challenges faced by society as far as Information Communication Technology (ICT) and Internet were concerned, was the abuse and manipulation by irresponsible quarters to poison people’s minds.
He added that development of ICT had made communication easier and had a profound impact on society be it political, economic or socially.
There is no doubt that the youths hail the development of ICT as the lifeline to socialising, having their voices heard through social media channels that has no limit or boundaries.
Without the Internet, Whatsapp, Twitter, Instagram and so on, life is seemingly pointless for the young people who have relied so much to communicate with their peers in today’s borderless world.
“Let us be clear, that the government has no issue on the use of Internet and social media channels among the young people to contact friends, access knowledge, employment opportunities including entertainment and recreation purpose.
“But being a responsible member of society, young people must always exercise self-censorship and self-restrain in respect of performing their netizens’ rights over the Internet,” Adenan said in a speech read out by Youth and Sports and Solidarity Minister Datuk Seri Michael Manyin Jawong at the state-level Youth Day 2016 celebration at the Indoor Stadium here.
Adenan said Internet had brought both the risks and opportunities for the young people especially in their development as adolescents and that had become a cause of common concern for the rakyat and government.
“We all love the Internet because it can be used to enhance youth learning, knowledge empowerment and most importantly, the freedom to express themselves via social media.
“But what is worrying is the abuse of Internet and social media channels, which is doing more harm than good. Irresponsible people are abusing the freedom of speech over social media networks, preying on the vulnerability and gullibility of young people,” he said.
Manyin, in his own speech, said his ministry was still waiting for response from its Federal counterpart on the proposed building of a Youth and Sports Village here to develop individuals with exceptional talent in various fields.
The village will become a centralised centre for talented youths, particularly in sports, to be trained to become world-class athletes.
At the event, Manyin presented the Youth Icon Award 2016 to outstanding individuals and associations.
National diving queen Pandelela Rinong Pamg received this year’s Youth Icon for Sports Award, followed by Paralympiad weightlifter Jong Yee Khie for Special Youth Icon.
Kelvin Wan Kwong Wei was honoured Youth Icon for Volunteerism, while Desmond Sagoh and Dr Fauzan Sahdi received their accolades for arts and skills and innovation categories respectively.
Yayasan Salam Negeri Sarawak took the award for volunteerism, Kumpulan Kesenian Petra for arts, Koperasi Belia Inovatif Sarawak for entrepreneurship and the Amateur (Tenpin) Bowling of Sarawak for the sports category.
Youth and Sports Assistant Minister Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah and Solidarity Assistant Minister Rosey Yunus were present.