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Monday, August 8, 2016

Sarawak says Pokemon Go ‘nothing to do with religion’

Sarawak’s Islamic authorities will not ban Muslims from playing Pokemon Go, Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Abang Johari Openg said today.

Borneo Post Online reported him as saying that it should be the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) deciding on whether the augmented reality game is dangerous and deserves a ban.

““If this game is ‘memudaratkan’ (can cause danger), MCMC must be the one taking action.

“This has nothing to do with religion. If this game is haram, then what about other games like ‘Clash of Clans’ for instance. There are pros and cons (in playing these games),” Abang Johari was quoted telling a press conference after chairing a meeting at the Sarawak Islamic Council, referring to a mobile game.

Abang Johari’s remarks came after Federal Territories Mufti Datuk Dr Zulkifli Mohamad al-Bakri’s office clarified that the Muslim cleric did not issue a fatwa, or edict, declaring Pokemon Go as “haram” (forbidden).

According to his office, the cleric had merely said Pokemon Go should be avoided if its risks outweighed the benefits.

The wildly popular mobile game was launched in Malaysia last Saturday.

The Pokemon Go phenomenon is based on a 1990s game but updated with the latest technology that superimposes virtual creatures onto real world locations, and allows players to view and capture them through their smartphones. 

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