KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 13 — The Health Ministry is looking at policy models in other countries to control Internet addiction among teenagers and youths including limiting access to internet after midnight, Deputy Health Minister Dr Lee Boon Chye said today.
He said it is important as the National Health and Morbidity Survey 2017 had revealed that 34.9 per cent of teenagers between the ages of 13 to 17 are addicted to the Internet.
“The ministry is seeing whether it can implement certain steps as seen in countries including Japan and [South] Korea, where those under 17 years of age are limited in using the Internet, usually from 12am to 6am every day,” Dr Lee said at the Dewan Rakyat today.
He was answering a question from Sibuti MP Lukanisman Awang Sauni, who expressed his concern that both school-going students and young adults between 30 and 40 are increasingly becoming addicted to playing games and using social media apps.
Dr Lee also claimed that some video game providers abroad also limit the number of hours that users under the age of 17 can play consecutively.
“Some of these providers requires underage users to stop playing for one or two hours, and if not will be forced offline from the game,” he said.
Dr Lee revealed that as of 2017 there are 24.1 million Internet users in the country, with over 80 per cent of them accessing the Web for social media purposes, with an average usage period of over four hours daily.
“At present the ministry is still studying the prevalence of gaming addiction in Malaysia,” he said.