COMM FESTIVAL 2023: Don’t argue with cyberbullies – MCMC

By Amirah Tee

GOMBAK, 13 May 2023: In conjunction with the Communication Festival 2023, speaker Asrul Muzaffar Mohammed from Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) spoke on the role of universities in preventing cyberbullying and online harrowing on Monday (8 May) at the International Islamic University Malaysia (IIUM). 

Asrul emphasised on the meaning of cyberbullying, forms of cyberbullying, statistical analysis of cyberbullying in Malaysia, the reason and dangers of cyberbullying, and the role of the universities in preventing cyberbullying. 

He shared that Malaysia is ranked second in South East Asia for Cyberbullying and sixth in the world regarding online cyberbullying cases.

“Three out of 10 Malaysian youths have been victims of cyberbullying, affecting their mental health, professional and social life,” he highlighted.

Asrul advised youths if they were cyberbullied “to try to talk with trusted people including parents, friends, or university counselors to combat cyberbullying.”

He further emphasized that universities play a big role in preventing and responding to the issue of cyberbullying and online harrowing.

“Educating students on the importance of not resorting to Ad Hominem (attacking the arguer instead of the argument) is crucial,” he suggested.

“Familiarise students with signs of cyberbullying and how to cope with being cyberbullied; teach the students to stay calm and the university should create a safe space for students to report on cyberbullying with the help of student counselors,” he stressed.

Asrul noted that victims should also save all proof and contact Anti-Cyberbullying Helplines such as Telenita, Miasa Crisis Helpline, or Malaysian Mental Health Association for advice.

He shared, “Cyberbullying is a crime in Malaysia referring to section 233 of the Communication and Multimedia Act 1988, (Act 588),” to conclude his presentation.

The talk concluded with a thought-provoking question and answer from the audience and ended with a photography session together with attendees and Communication Department lecturers. ***

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