According to a global survey, Malaysia is among the world's top countries where parents have reported their children experiencing cyberbullies
In an article published recently by tech review site Comparitech, Malaysia ranked sixth among 28 countries in a survey on cyberbullying around the world.
When compared to only Asian countries, Malaysia ranked second, behind India, which was placed first on the list.
The survey was conducted by Ipsos - an international market research company - and it involved 20,793 respondents worldwide in 2018.
The survey shows that 23% of Malaysian parents said their children encountered cyberbullies
7% of the respondents reported that their children faced cyberbullies on a regular basis, 8% 'Sometimes', while another 8% 'Yes, once or twice'.
Based on the results, nearly one out of five children around the world faced some sort of attack online.
Ipsos' results are similar to a report by the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), which stated that three out of 10 young Malaysians - or more specifically 28% - have been a victim of cyberbullies in the country.
Commenting on the results, Women's Centre for Change (WCC) said cyberbullying cases often go unreported with victims putting up with the derogatory comments
The non-governmental organisation (NGO) said it is because they do not wish to be embroiled in lengthy legal processes to seek redress, reported theSundaily.
"It is important that the victim acts on it, regardless of who they are," said WCC programme director Karen Lai.
According to Lai, victims should report it to the police or the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) otherwise the perpetrators will think that their actions are acceptable.
"Most people think they can get away with it," she said, adding that the Internet is not a space where people can be excused for leaving derogatory remarks.
Lai cited a few examples of cyberbullies in Malaysia, including a teen who died by suicide after being bullied over her TikTok videos.
Meanwhile, psychologist Dr Fauziah Mohd Sa'ad said many people see cyberbullies as 'not a big deal' that warrants police involvement
"These keyboard warriors are often narcissistic, selfish, angry, or cowardly in real life," she told theSundaily.
They don't care about the impact their actions have on their victims.
"This risk to Internet users is like a 'silent epidemic' across the country. They have become quite rampant."
Dr Fauziah advised victims to always seek emotional support from family and friends. They are also encouraged to go to a professional counsellor.
Asking for help is not a sign of weakness.
If you or anyone you know may be at risk of suicide, please call these Malaysian hotlines:
According to the Ministry of Health, cyberbullying, which includes body shaming, is a punishable offence: