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Councillor urges govt to raise legal age to enter cybercafés

2018-08-08 08:00     Comment:1

Liu Fengming, a member of the Taipa and Coloane Community Service Consultative Council, said yesterday that as teenagers who spend a lot of time in internet cafés tended to neglect their studies and become obsessed with online games, the government should raise the legal age for those entering them.

Liu, a senior member of the Federation of Trade Unions (known as Gung Luen in Cantonese), made the remarks during a monthly meeting of the government-appointed council at the Islands District Public Services Centre in Taipa.

Liu said that recently a F1 pupil of a school in Taipa was seen entering a cybercafé still wearing his or her school uniform, adding that a follow-up investigation by that school’s staff discovered that more than 10 of its pupils went there.

Liu said that according to current legislation, the legal age to enter a cybercafé is 12 years. She questioned whether it’s appropriate for children of such a young age to enter internet cafés.

In Macau, children aged between 12 and 16 or those wearing school uniforms are allowed to enter cybercafés only at certain times. They are allowed to enter after 4 p.m. from Mondays to Fridays, and after 8 a.m. at weekends, public holidays and school holidays. Those minors are legally allowed to stay at there until 10 p.m. from Sunday to Friday, and until midnight on Saturdays, school holidays and public holidays.

She pointed out that children aged around 12 who have just entered junior high school are easily tempted and unable to distinguish between right and wrong.

She said that children and young adults tend to have poor self-control, and it’s easy for them to learn bad habits such as lying, smoking and drinking. Therefore, she urged the government to refer to neighbouring regions’ practices by raising the legal age of those able to enter cybercafés to 18 and supporting non-government organisations (NGOs) to set up activities for youths to learn more about civil society and develop a correct outlook on life.

On the Chinese mainland, the legal age for entering cybercafés stands at 18.




Liu Fengming, a member of the Taipa and Coloane Community Service Consultative Council, speaks during a monthly meeting of the government-appointed council at the Islands District Public Services Centre in Taipa yesterday. Photo: Kelvin Lam 

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