PETALING JAYA - A host of local celebrities are joining forces with R.AGE, The Star's award-winning youth platform, to put an end to bullying in Malaysia.
The R.AGE Against Bullying campaign has received support from the likes of Red FM deejays JJ and Lil Kev, television host Daphne Iking, Miss Malaysia Universe 2010 Nadine Ann Thomas, singer Vince Chong, Hujan lead vocalist Noh and many others who had been bullied in the past.
Iking said she was bullied during her schooling years and everyone should stop this bullying menace.
"There was a time where most adults thought that bullying was a rite of passage for young people.
"But I don't think it is right and I'm glad we are creating awareness through this campaign," she said.
An online "heat map" was developed by R.AGE for the campaign, allowing bullying victims to show where in the country they were bullied.
Users of the RAGEAgainstBullying.com website will help generate live statistics about bullying.
R.AGE editor Ian Yee said: "We hope to achieve two things with the 'heat map' - firstly, to show everyone that bullying is indeed a problem in Malaysia that it is happening in your schools and in your neighbourhoods.
"Secondly, we want the victims who are often too embarrassed or traumatised to speak up to know that they are not alone."
According to recent surveys, over 80 per cent of Malaysian children have experienced some form of bullying and one in three have been bullied online.
A mini-survey by R.AGE earlier this year also showed that only 20 per cent of victims would tell their parents about their ordeals.
Malaysian Psychiatric Association president Dr Abdul Kadir Abu Bakar said it is a common problem around the world, as children often fear their parents will not be able to protect them outside of their "home environment".
"It is very important that victims of bullying are able to talk to someone as they - and the bullies - are more susceptible to mental health problems later on in life.
"They could end up having anxiety, depression, personality issues, relationship problems and even psychosis," he said.
Australian motivational speaker Nick Vujicic had recorded a special message for a music video produced for the campaign by local artiste Liang and StART Society.
> For more details about the campaign, turn to the R.AGE section in today's paper. To support the campaign, log on to RAGEAgainstBullying.com.