Expand Pokemon Go 'no-go zones'

Pokemon Go has taken the world by storm.

Our Government has stated that it is studying the social impact as the game has caused problems in other countries ("House debates govt response to game"; Aug 17, and "Woman hit by truck in Japan's first Pokemon Go death"; Aug 25).

In Hougang, police have had to step up patrols to monitor the situation for any law and order issues as large crowds gather there nightly ("More police patrols in Pokemon Go hot spot"; Aug 20).

The crowds have led to sleep disruption of residents caused by players shouting and screaming into the wee hours. Finding parking spaces there is almost impossible.

In another location, two men were arrested after they got into a fight over Pokemon Go ("Pokemon Go player, motorist held after they come to blows"; Aug 17).

In the United States, the Pentagon has clamped down on Pokemon Go; in Thailand, Buddhist temples and hospitals are a no-go zone; Vietnam has banned the game at government and defence sites.

What about Singapore?

In Singapore's free-market economy, the government position is always to let nature take its course.

The Pokemon Go craze has benefited many businesses. Malls are also offering rewards to Pokemon Go players and running campaigns that involve players snapping screenshots of the mall and uploading them on Instagram for a chance at a reward.

So shouldn't the Government step in now to draw players away from unwelcome areas?

The authorities have said that government and national defence areas and sensitive installations are no-go zones.

These areas should be expanded to include private or public housing areas, high-rise buildings with fall risk, and high-traffic areas that could have potential parking problems. There should also be no "PokeShops" or "lures" to attract unwanted crowds.

The above-mentioned are only short-term measures. The Government should also be looking at other possible long-term problems and act in anticipation and not only when resolutions are warranted.

Teow Sing Teng