YOUR report “Joint council to promote healthy lifestyle”, (The Star, June 4), regarding the joint effort to be taken by the Health Ministry and the Youth and Sports Ministry, is very encouraging.
A serious problem among our teenage students, especially college students, is hanging out till dawn at 24-hour mamak coffeeshops or stalls and Internet cafes.
On June 4, I woke up at 4am and found that my eldest son, aged 21, who is studying at a local university, was not at home.
I found out he had gone out and decided to look for him instead of calling him on his mobile.
The first place I drove to was Bangsar, where at least five mamak coffeeshops were operating at about 4.15am with the majority of patrons being teenagers.
There were also two Internet cafes near the coffeeshops and these were also packed with teenagers, smoking and playing online games.
Next I went to Damansara Utama near the police station. The mamak coffeeshop and the Internet cafe next to it were packed with teenagers of all races at about 4.45am. Again about half of the boys and girls were smoking.
As I still had not found my son I went to Jalan SS22/43 where, in front of the Damansara Jaya secondary school, there was a mamak coffeeshop and, a few doors away, an Internet cafe.
Surprisingly, at 5am these two outlets were still packed with teenagers. Here I found my son playing online games with his college-mates when they had lessons at 9am.
I hope the Government will consider introducing laws or using town council by-laws to regulate the operating hours of coffeeshops and Internet cafes in residential areas.
I think they should not be allowed to operate after 2am. This will give the operators three hours to clean up before they resume business at 5am.
Perhaps, at certain areas, like near wholesale markets, exemptions can be given for coffeeshops.
CONCERNED FATHER, Kuala Lumpur. (via e-mail)
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