THE Government is looking into measures to limit Internet access for teenagers under 17 years old after midnight until 6am, as implemented in Japan and South Korea.
Deputy Health Minister Dr Lee Boon Chye said it was part of its efforts to curb addiction to videogames and social media among teenagers in the country.
“There are also gaming providers that prevent users aged under 17 from accessing games after one to two hours ... These are among the steps we are looking into to ensure game addiction could be brought under control,” he said during an question-and-answer session at the Dewan Rakyat.
He was replying to a supplementary question from Lukanisman Awang Sauni (PBB-Sibuti) on the Government’s move to curb game addiction which is making users avoid other activities.
In response to Lukanisman’s original question whether videogames and social media are categorised as mental illness, Dr Lee said both behaviours did not cause mental disorder but have a negative impact on an individual.
“The addiction could become a habit in the individual which then detracts the user from more important activities such as education and career,” he said.
Dr Lee said a survey by the National Health and Morbidity in 2017 showed that 34.9% of teenagers aged 13 to 17 were addicted to the Internet.
Meanwhile, a survey by the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) on Internet usage pattern in 2017 showed that there were 24.1 million Internet users in the country with 80% of them accessing the social media with an average usage of over four hours a day. – Bernama