Information and communications technology (ICT) development in Malaysia has grown by leaps and bounds due to the strong stewardship and forward-looking policy of the government, Deputy Minister of Communication and Multimedia Datuk Jailani Johari said.

Jailani said the National ICT Association of Malaysia (PIKOM) recently forecast that ICT spending in 2013 and the next five years will grow at 10 to 12 per cent.

Jailani attributed the encouraging figures to the various initiatives undertaken by the government especially in building up the network infrastructure such as expansion of coverage area and the setting up of many wireless villages nationwide.

He added that the explosion of social media such as Twitter, Facebook and Youtube has created a wide chasm between the haves and have-nots, between the urban and the rural, and the gap would widen unless Malaysians took action.

“We saw the power of social media especially during the recent general election. Some had misused it to spread hates, lies and slanders.

“Unless we take the action of creating an internet or media literacy movement, the populace believes what they see in the internet is truth without ever submitting them to reason and objectivity,” he said.

Jailani also urged the business community to join the government to overcome this serious threat brought by these media.