GEORGE TOWN - The Communications and Multimedia Ministry and other authorities should ban online game 'Blue Whale' in Malaysia, said the Consumers Association of Penang.
CAP president S.M. Mohamed Idris said the game, founded in 2013 by a Russian, had apparently claimed more than 150 victims through suicide all over the world.
He said the game comprised a series of tasks assigned to players by administrators during a 50-day period, with the final challenge requiring the player to commit suicide.
Each task needs to be photographed or videotaped, including the final act of suicide.
"Although the ministry had announced that 'Blue Whale' had not 'beached' in Malaysia, we urge both the authorities as well as consumers to be wary of what lurks on the 'dark side' of the Internet.
"The youngsters need to understand that Internet addiction is just as bad as alcohol addiction.
"There is 90 per cent of the Internet that is hidden and not indexed by search engines such as Google.
"This is known as the dark web with access to drug peddlers, the black market, hackers and pornography among others," he said in a press statement.
Mohamed said the game founder Philipp Budeikin, who was arrested in May, had claimed that the game was intended to make the victims happy with the warmth and understanding they did not get in their lives.
Mohamed then called on parents and teachers to monitor the online activity of children, and keep an eye on indications of self-harm, abnormal behaviour or disturbed eating or sleeping habits.
"I urge the media and non-governmental organisations to create awareness on the danger," he said, adding that the ministry should implement cyber security in the school curriculum.
- Samaritans of Singapore (SOS): 1800-2214444
- Singapore Association for Mental Health: 1800-2837019
- Sage Counselling Centre: 1800-5555555
- Care Corner Mandarin Counselling: 1800-3535800