Reform of the cyber cafesPosted: July 8, 2008
Maybe this is their way of “taking the cyber world seriously”, but let’s have a look for a bit what “reforms” they propose onto cyber cafes:
KUALA LUMPUR: All cyber cafes will have to close by midnight daily and operate only from the ground floor of buildings once the guidelines to control them are enforced.
Deputy Housing and Local Government Minister Datuk Hamzah Zainuddin said that under the new guidelines, cyber cafe operators were also banned from using tinted glass.
“The new rule also requires those below 12 years old to be accompanied by their parents or guardians to cyber cafes and they are only allowed to stay until 10pm,” he told reporters at the Parliament lobby yesterday.
Hamzah said cyber cafes were also banned from other co-business activities, including having games, gambling, pornography, music and publications with negative elements.
“Cigarettes and alcohol cannot be sold or consumed at these premises,” he said.
Hamzah said operators were required to keep a register to record the entry and departure time of their patrons.
“This is to ensure that all patrons are checked by operators at all times. The owners of the business must also send the names of students who come to their premises to their schools,” he said.
Hamzah said some students had been found to play truant by changing their uniforms and visiting cyber cafes during school hours.
Full article here.
I agree with their measures on the most part. To close by midnight, to operate only on ground floor levels, to ban use of tinted glass, to prohibit smoking and drinking. All these, to me, sound very sensible.
Maybe, to require that the owners of cyber cafes take down the names and IC numbers of their patrons is something worth thinking about too. But I’m not so sure. I think it is somewhat useless, though I wouldn’t mind being proven otherwise.
What they are proposing is good. But it is always the implementation that springs up the problems. Currently, how many cyber cafes are there in Malaysia? How many of them operate from the ground floor? And how many operate from the darkest corner of a building? How many of them can afford to relocate? Will the government compensate them for relocation?
And what about tinted glass? I can safely say that most cyber cafes use tinted glass, for God knows what reasons. Will the government require them to change their existing windows? Who will foot the bill?
And I imagine it to be even more difficult to require the owners to take down the names of those who frequent their outlets. Already it is difficult to get shopkeepers to stick to the law and NOT sell cigarettes and alcohol to the underaged. Very difficult indeed.
Not to say that we should avoid doing the difficult. Just that the government and Ministry had better be well prepared to face these and many other problems of handling social ills and general safety of the public.