Indonesian defence minister: Pokemon Go 'just not right'

Indonesian security personnel have been banned from playing Pokemon Go, with the presidential palace putting up signs stating that playing the game is prohibted on its premises.

Photo by: Ken Sugimori/Bulbapedia
Photo by: Ken Sugimori/Bulbapedia

Garbodor: a pokemon.

Indonesia is banning police and military personnel from playing Pokemon Go while on duty, officials said, after the country's defence minister warned the smartphone game was a security threat.

The ban came as the Jakarta presidential palace also prohibited playing the popular game around the premises. Signs read "Playing or hunting Pokemon is forbidden in the area of the palace" have appeared in the zone.

Hunderds of Indonesian police surround a Papuan student dormitory in Yogyakarta on July 15, 2016.

Many Indonesians have embraced the Pokemon Go frenzy since the game launched two weeks ago. Although Pokemon Go is not yet officially available in the country, many have downloaded it illegally and taken to the streets to hunt for virtual "pocket monsters."

This has caused concern among the security establishment, with officials suggesting the game's high-tech capabilities could be put to use in spying. 

A group of Indonesians playing Pokemon Go on the streets in Banda Aceh, after joining the frenzy over the game which has become a worldwide hit but has alo been also blamed for a wave of crimes, traffic violations and complaints in cities around the globe.

Defence Minister Ryamizard Ryacudu said: "Spying can come in different forms," adding the game was "just not right."

The military will soon issue an order banning all personnel from playing Pokemon Go during work hours as it seeks to protect high-security sites, military spokesman Tatang Sulaiman told Agence France Presse. 

At the presidential palace, press chief Bey Machmudin said the ban had been introduced as "this is the president's office not a playground." It came several days after a minister said he had spotted some Pokemon in the palace.

Police officers across the country were already sent an order on Tuesday banning them from playing the game while on duty, a spokesman said.

"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," said national police spokesman Boy Rafli Amar. 


TRTWorld and agencies