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Laws to tackle cyber bullying being drafted in Malaysia

Country’s deputy education chief warns cyber bullying could leave students feeling isolated from other pupils

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 07 February, 2017, 12:02pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 07 February, 2017, 12:03pm

Laws on cyber bullying are being drafted in Malaysia, said the country’s Deputy Educa­tion Minister Datuk Chong Sin Woon.

The ministry was also looking at similar laws in other countries to see how best it could be applied here, he said.

Cyber bullies will usually post pic­­tures and unsubstantiated re­­marks against their target, which can in­­clude threats, sometimes sexual in nature.

Chong said although the ministry barred students from carrying mobile phones to school, cyber bullying can still be carried out via social media.

“They can use Facebook and other social media to send threatening messages to their targets.

“This has to stop,” he said after launching the national level (zone B) Jom Ke Sekolah (Let’s Go to School) programme.

Citing an example, Chong said a victim could feel isolated or boycot­ted by his or her schoolmates through cyber bullying.

“This will surely affect the student badly including his or her performance academically,” he said.

Earlier, Chong, who read the speech of Education Minister Datuk Seri Mahdzir Khalid, said the objective of the programme was to check student involvement in crime as well as other undesirable activities such as truancy and vandalism.

“Under the programme, we will have police officers coming to school at least once a month to talk to students during assembly as to why they should stay away from crime.

“Apart from checking disciplinary problems, the move is also to make the learning and teaching processes more conducive and to encourage more students to come to school,” he said.

Also present was state deputy police chief SAC Muhd Zaki Harun, who read the speech of Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar.

He said police officers would continue to make periodical visits and hold talks at schools to check students’ involvement in crime.

“We need to be more active, creative and innovative to check students’ involvement in undesirable activities.

“With social media now widely available, students are more exposed to the negative elements out there,” he said.

Citing an example, SAC Muhd Zaki said radical movements such as the Islamic State have made their way into Malaysia to influence the young.

“They know the young are vulnerable and can be influenced.

“On our part, we will continue with our intelligence work to ensure their ideologies are not spread to our schools,” he added.

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Chong: Laws on cyber bullying being drafted