KUALA LUMPUR: A safe digital world is one of the aspirations voiced by Malaysians under the National Transformation 2050 (TN50) dialogues and this can be achieved through parental awareness, says Khairy Jamaluddin.
The Youth and Sports Minister said the digital space was both a boom and a boon for children and youths as it helps in learning and fostering creativity.
“But at the same time, it is also filled with threats such as online predators and cyberbullies.
“So parents must play an important role in helping their children to navigate the digital world safely. The crux of the problem today is with easy access to the Internet, children are vulnerable to bad influences every day,” he said at the launch of Celcom Axiata Bhd’s Parents Unite for Online Safety programme, an initiative to advocate public awareness for online safety, at Menara Celcom yesterday.
Khairy said although he was a big advocate of technology, there was also the danger with children having unfiltered access online.
He said apps such as KidSafe with parental controls, developed by Celcom Axiata and launched in September last year, could be useful.
Apart from threats within the digital world, he said parents should also be aware of the negative impact of too much screen time for their children.
“It takes away real human interaction, leading to impaired social learning. Children will get addicted to the screen posing serious consequences,” he said.
On the programme, Khairy said Celcom Axiata would equip 175 1Malaysia Internet Centres around the country with the KidSafe app.
Celcom deputy chief executive officer Azwan Khan said the app could be used to monitor usage of the Internet and filter content which was unsuitable for children and youths.
Azwan opined that some Malaysian parents were still not aware of the dangers faced by their children online.
“While we can see bruises from physical bullying, cyberbullying is a lot more difficult to detect,” he said.
Also present at the launch were Celcom CEO Michael Kuehner and chief corporate officer Zuraida Jamaluddin.