This seems serious.
The Women, Family and Community Development Ministry is going to carry out an "awareness programme on the negative effects of the social media on family institutions".
Minister Shahrizat Jalil told the Dewan Rakyat yesterday.
She was replying to Dr Mujahid Yusof Rawa (Pas-Parit Buntar) who wanted to know if there were efforts being carried out to make the public aware of the effects of social networking on families and marriages..
Shahrizat said the programme -- "Sekata: Keselamatan Keluarga Tanggung Jawab Kita" (Family Safety is Our Responsibility) -- would be implemented at the grassroots level with the cooperation of some 150 non-governmental organisations.
"The government is aware that the extensive use of social websites can be detrimental, especially in the context of family and marriage.
"When family interaction and recreational activities are replaced with cyber activities, sooner or later it will affect the family's function and system," she said.
She pointed out that Malaysia has some 9.5 million people on Facebook, and the majority of the active users were those between 18 and 34 years old.
Shahrizat said the ministry, through the National Population and Family Development Board (LPPKN), had taken steps to educate family members and couples on the implications of social network abuse.
This included a family education programme to strengthen moral values, counselling services to individuals and couples with problems arising from Internet abuse, and the e-parenting portal as a medium to guide and channel positive information to families and parents.
So far 4,610 LPPKN programmes have been implemented from 2006 to 2010, which have benefited some 490,000 family members.