GEORGE TOWN: The Pokemon Go craze has caught even the Chief Minister, with Lim Guan Eng having a go at the mobile phone game with reporters today.
Calling the game “good clean fun” he said the state has no sanctions against it. However players should mind their safety when going about pursuing their targets in public places.
He declined to comment on the Federal Territory Mufti having forbidden Muslims from playing the game, saying: “As for what the mufti said, it is not in my jurisdiction. He is talking about another area.”
Lim said that “(being in) Penang is about having fun. We don’t ban fun. This is clean fun.”
The chief minister decided to accompany reporters in playing the game at Gurney Paragon shopping centre today after officiating a Penang Hepatitis Day function, and a live video feed on Facebook of his impromptu act was quickly shared online.
The Mufti of Penang, Wan Salim Wan Mohd Noor, was quoted by Sinar Harian on July 25 as calling for Pokemon Go to be declared “haram” (forbidden) as a study by the mufti’s department has shown that negatives aspects of the game outweighed the positive.
The Federal Territory mufti, Dr Zulkifli Mohamad al-Bakri, announced on Aug 2 that his office had studied the views of several ulamas and previous fatwas issued before arriving at the decision which forbids Muslims against the game.
He said they believed this was justified and that Pokemon Go should be avoided if the game was felt to be pernicious.
Lim said today that the mufti’s assertions were meant for Muslims.
“As far as the Penang government is concerned the state has no sanction,” he said. “We just ask people to be safe and that they don’t go to dangerous areas. Just be careful. Watch the road. Don’t get involved in an accident. Don’t trip over and fall. Make sure parents keep an eye on children.”