KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 8 — The authorities should block the download of Pokemon Go as declaring it haram alone will not deter people from downloading the popular smartphone game, according to Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM) deputy vice chancellor Professor Datuk Dr Mohammad Shatar Sabran.
Malay language daily Sinar Harian reported the social expert as saying it was impossible for the government to monitor the use of the app as millions were playing the game.
“Even though it was only launched just a few days ago, everyone is talking about it no matter the occasion, time or situation, it is quite damaging because many are giving their full attention to the game, and it is a concern that it will affect these people’s daily routines,” he was quoted saying by Malay language daily Sinar Harian.
He added that the game will get in the way of students’ daily routines and is a distraction from studies and assignments.
Mohammad Satar further stressed that the interactive aspect of the game was a safety concern.
“From my observation, there are those who are willing to leave their house late at night to track and catch Pokemon, and out of carelessness, they neglect safety,” he said.
The Federal Territories Shariah state committee had recently declared a ban on Muslims from playing Pokemon Go, which the Federal Territories Islamic Legal Consultative Committee said was made based on scripture and for the benefit of Muslims.
The Department of Islamic Development Malaysia (Jakim) director-general Tan Sri Othman Mustapha yesterday said Jakim supported the decision by the Federal Territories Islamic Legal Consultative Committee as it was consistent with the views of other Muslim countries which found the Pokemon Go game to be dangerous and resulting in fatal accidents.
In a separate report by the daily, Communications and Multimedia Minister Datuk Seri Salleh Said Keruak said that the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) is considering to issue safety guidelines for the game.
“MCMC realises that Pokemon Go could be dangerous if safety is ignored while it is being played,” he was quoted saying by the daily.
“Players must be aware of their surroundings in regards to the law and local sensitivities,” he added.