Shahrizat: Facebook “can bring unhealthy implications”

The Women, Family and Community Development Ministry will carry out an awareness programme on the negative effects of the social media on family institutions, the Dewan Rakyat was told today.

Minister Datuk Seri Shahrizat Abdul Jalil said the programme, “Sekata: Family Safety Is Our Responsibility”, would be implemented at the grassroots level in collaboration with about 150 non-governmental organisations.

“In the context of family and marriage, extensive use of social websites can bring about unhealthy implications.

“This happens when family interaction, recreation, intimacy and ties are replaced by cyber activities. Sooner or later it will affect the family’s function and system,” she said in reply to Dr Mujahid Yusof Rawa (PAS-Parit Buntar).

Dr Mujahid wanted the minister to explain efforts being carried out to make the public aware of the effects of social networking on families and marriages.

According to Shahrizat, reports on revealed that Malaysian Facebook users has reached 9.5 million people of which most were aged between 18 and 34.

In 2011, she said the ministry through the National Population and Family Development Board (LPPKN) would carry out programmes to raise public awareness on the negative effects of social media.

Among them are a family education programme to create awareness among family members and couples on the implications of misusing the social networks, and counselling services to individuals and couples facing problems arising from Internet abuse.

The LPPKN has also developed an e-parenting portal as a medium to guide and channel positive information to families and parents.

She said the portal gave access to families and couples on tips regarding marriage, parenting, online counselling services, forum, blogs and discussion on family issues.

— Bernama