KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 28 — Pressure from piling school homework, influence of video games or depression are among the factors being studied by the government to identify the cause of students who committed suicide.
Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail said it is important to identify the issue to ensure students with problems or facing pressure get early assistance to prevent students taking their own lives.
Dr Wan Azizah who is also Women, Family and Community Development Minister said the tragic death of a 13-year-old pupil in Penang who was reported to have committed suicide by hanging himself, believed to be due to pressure from homework on Saturday (August 24) should not be repeated.
“The case is now being investigated but we want to know if there were online problems as it was said there was a game which challenge players to commit suicide apart from socialising with friends.
“At the same time, we are also looking at the overload of school homework which pressured the boy...we will look at all angles and what we can do to prevent students from reaching that level,” she told reporters after visiting Selayang Community College here today.
Dr Wan Azizah also called on students and children experiencing pressure or suffering from depression not to keep quiet and should seek help by talking to their parents, families, cyber friends, via tele assistance or seek counselling.
“If we have problems or are depressed especially teenagers, talk and get it off the chest as one of the ways to calm depression and the tendency to commit suicide.
“We also have Talian Kasih 15999 as well as the Befrienders or even counselling at school and even the ministry is also open to those who needed such help,” she said.
In this regard, Dr Wan Azizah reminded parents to be alert and monitor their children’s internet usage so as not to become pornography addicts.
She said despite the various measures introduced by the government to combat social ills, parents should take the responsibility to nip such problems among children.
“Parents should take the responsibility of checking what their children are surfing on the internet as some became viral, leading to other problems.
“We should make sure our teenagers do not become pornography addicts it is one of the mental diseases in the country,” she said was commenting on the findings of Pertubuhan Ikram Malaysia recently that children aged between 10 and 14 were selling themselves on several social media applications such as Bigo Live, Instagram and WeChat.
Dr Wan Azizah said the government was aware and concerned with the issue and had introduced various initiatives among them Sekeluarga Tolak Pornografi (STOP) via Persatuan WADAH Pencerdasan Umat Malaysia, Child Online Policy (COP), and the Klik Dengan Bijak programme by the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC)
She said the 5th Malaysian Family and Population Study implemented by the National Population and Family Development Board (LPPKN) in 2014 found 35.2 per cent of juveniles have been exposed to pornographic materials and the main source is from internet (60.8 per cent).
She said the biggest problem of pornography is that it is accessible via internet through smart phones.
On Selayang Community College, Dr Wan Azizah said the Special Skills Study Programme offered by the Education Ministry saw 100 per cent disabled and autistic students succeeded in getting work after finishing their studies. — Bernama