1.8m internet users in M'sia under 18

PUTRAJAYA: The Internet user population in Malaysia has grown from 2.5 million in 2006 to 24.5 million this year, a growth of 880 percent, said Deputy Communications and Multimedia Minister Datuk Seri Jailani Johari.

He said Malaysians under the age of 18 made up 5.8 percent of Internet users in the country, numbering 1.8 million people.

"The Malaysian government has embarked on various initiatives to ensure a safe online environment for children. Under the Communication and Multimedia Act namely sections 211 and 233, the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) has blocked 155 websites that contained child sexual abuse content this year," he said when opening the Child Online Protection In Asean Seminar 2017 here today.

Jailani said the two-day seminar will hopefully be a catalyst for the establishment of an Asean level council on child online protection in parallel with the Asean Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Cooperation 2018.

"The 2018 ICT Cooperation between Asean member countries and dialogue partners such as China, South Korea and Japan and the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) will focus more on child online protection issues," he added.

Malaysia, Jailani said, has been working very closely with the ITU on child online protection for many years.

At the regional level, he added, during the 17th Asean Telecommunications and Information Technology Ministers Meeting in Siem Reap, Cambodia last week, all 10 Asean member countries pledged their commitment to put more focus and effort on the issue of child online protection.

A total of 200 participants from Asean countries are attending the seminar which will witness sharing of experiences, policies, legal frameworks and initiatives on child online protection.

The seminar themed 'Nurturing Cyber Wellness For Connected Children' is organised by MCMC in collaboration with the Education Ministry; Ministry of Women, Family and Community Development, United Nations Children's Fund (Unicef), Digi Cybersafe and Generasi Gemilang.

Asean comprises Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.