Easy connectivity has caused targets of cyber bullying to come under pressure 24 hours a day, with most victims afraid to speak out and seek help for fear of appearing weak.
These were highlighted by the four panellists during the public forum on ‘Cyber Bullying: Stand Up! Stand Tall!’ organised by WOU’s School of Humanities and Social Sciences (SHSS) at the main campus today.
Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) consultant developmental psychologist Dr Abdul Rahman Ahmad Badayai described the psychological profile of a cyber bully as “persistent, permanent and hard to notice”. He said besides the continuous online pressure, the victims may also become objects of ridicule in the real world.
He warned that information and photos uploaded online are permanent and public, exposing users to cyber harassment. He advised parents to teach kids about online risks and to monitor their online activities, such as the social networking sites visited,, browsing history, and the latest social media or mobile applications downloaded.
Supt Chelvam Ramiah Pillai, Deputy Director of the Penang Commercial Crime Investigation Department, shared that it is difficult to identify the suspects in cyber bullying. He said that the Police can take action against cyber bullies through CMA 1998, the Computer Crimes Act 1997 and the Penal Code.
He stressed the important role of parents, urging them to be alert to changes in their kids’ behaviour, like not accessing the Internet as often, becoming quiet, and refusing to go to school. He encouraged parents to communicate with their child to gauge if cyber bulllying is a problem, and to document the incidents for Police investigation, instead of intervening directly and risk flaring up the issue.
Women’s Centre for Change (WCC) Outreach Project Officer Nur Hasanah Ahmad Ahmad Akhir mentioned the general attitude in the Asian culture that equated “asking for help to being weak”, thus discouraging victims from seeking help. She also felt that victims do not receive the correct response or their woes are dismissed as growing pains in life. She stated that most bullies come from a family of bullies, and the problem can only be effectively resolved if the reasons behind the bullying are identified. She reminded of the many avenues available for seeking help in cyber bullying.