KOTA KINABALU, May 31 (Bernama) — Sabah’s internet users are more concerned with the content they see online than moaning over poor or no service coverage.
Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission’s (MCMC) Senior Director of Advocacy and Outreach Eneng Faridah Iskandar considered the situation in Sabah rather unique given the significant growth in internet users in the state.
According to her, Sabah makes up 11.9 percent of Malaysia’s population and 7.9 percent of the country’s total internet users, which is considered very high.
She said the commission’s statistics for Sabah last year showed there were 223 complaints on internet content, followed by cybercrimes with 86 complaints, while complaints on poor service coverage came in third with 61 complaints.
“I had thought it (complaints in Sabah) would be of coverage because of the territory and challenges in rolling out services,” she told Bernama in an exclusive interview here recently.
Eneng Faridah said 25 percent of the complaints on internet content was on false or misleading information and 21 percent on obscene or indecent content.
“Unfortunately, these kind of contents is a lot on the internet,” she added.
Following the complaints, she said MCMC would work on how to empower users to self-regulate, as well as shield themselves and their loved ones, particularly children, against such contents on the internet.
“The potential for information and communication technology (ICT) and internet is so significant and so great, such that it will be a shame if it all boils down to social media abuses and that people cannot move beyond that,” she said.
Eneng Faridah also pointed out that internet users needed to be mindful of what they post on the Internet, be it a comment, on an undesirable statement.
She said more often than not, users get embroiled in a war of words over a statement that agitated their feelings.
“We, as internet users, have to be quite discerning. We have to be quite careful not to get used to viral something that is not productive,” she said.
Eneng Faridah advised internet users to understand the risks associated with going online so that they would then know how to mitigate those risks.
She hoped efforts and campaigns by MCMC, such as the “Klik Dengan Bijak” (KDB) programme could change the attitudes and behaviour of internet users and mould them to be responsible digital citizens.
Meanwhile, MCMC’s Chief Officer of Network Security and Enforcement, Zulkarnain Mohd Yasin said the commission was working with service providers in coming up with internet filtering applications, especially for parental control, as many people were now accessing the internet via their mobile devices.
He also said internet users could contribute in producing positive contents and applications that could lead to uplifting the community’s economy.
Zulkarnain also warned Malaysians against falling prey to scams by simply befriending unknown people on the Internet.
“Typical Malaysians are naive and very trusting. We must always be critical and cautious and not let our guard down,” he said.