Terming the smartphone game Pokémon Go a "security threat", Indonesia has ordered its police forces to not play the game while on duty as the frenzy has already started to grip the country even before its official launch. The government is also gearing up to ban the game for on-duty military personnel.
The gaming app has become a rage in many parts of the world where it has been launched, while countries that are yet to join the bandwagon are eagerly awaiting its launch. So far, while playing the game, some are reported to have met with accidents while some others have discovered strange things, including dead bodies.
Many Indonesians have reportedly begun chasing the virtual "pocket monsters" by illegally downloading the game even before the game is officially launched in the country. However, the government, especially the defence department, is alarmed by its rising popularity and is preparing to take action against it.
Military spokesman Tatang Sulaiman told AFP that the military will soon issue an order banning playing Pokémon Go during work hours for all its personnel. The military is concerned that the gaming app's high-tech capabilities could be misused for spying purposes and thus, the security measure.
Defence Minister Ryamizard Ryacudu was quoted by Channel News Asia as saying that the "cute" game could turn out to be dangerous in the long run. "At first, it (Pokémon Go) appears cute but the longer you see... it is just not right," he said.
Earlier on Tuesday (19 July), all police officials across the country were informed about the ban on playing the game during office hours. National police spokesman Boy Rafli Amar said the department was worried their officers might get addicted to the game leading to dereliction of duty.
"We are worried that police officers may become addicted and we don't want that because a police officer's duty is to serve the public. The job requires hard work and concentration," he said, adding that police forces have been instructed to be on heightened alert for terror threats in the wake of a recent suicide bombing attack on a police station in the city of Solo where one officer was injured.