Digital Divide amongst Urban Youths in Malaysia – Myth or Reality?

  •  Patrick C-H Soh    
  •  Yap Liang Yan    
  •  Tze San Ong    
  •  Boon Heng Teh    


The Digital Divide is an important issue with serious consequences, both for the individuals affected and society. With 90% of youths in urban areas using the Internet, there is a myth that the Digital Divide no longer exists amongst urban youths. Based on a random survey of 1639 youths, this study analyses the possibility of a digital divide along ethnic lines in Malaysia.. Findings indicate there are significant ethnic-based differences in home PC ownership and Internet connection. There are further concerns that the digital divide is further widening because of the quantity and quality of access. Multivariate analysis reveals that Chinese youths are online for twice the duration of Malays and Indians. However, higher Internet usage may be a two-edged sword as higher Internet use are intertwined with higher risks and negative activities such as violent games, pornography, and gambling. The article also discusses various means to mitigate the risks of Internet usage.

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