Walk along Taman Medan and Petaling Jaya, and you’ll notice many people selling latto-latto on the streets.
Latto-latto is a craze that first began in the U.S. in the 1970s, and was somehow picked up by Indonesians five decades later. The ball clackers have now made their way to Malaysian soil, much to the annoyance of some.
The Malaysian Malay Consumer Association (PPMM) believes latto-latto (or lato-lato) is dangerous as it’s injured children. Due to this, the organization wants the government to ban it as the game’s target audience are people above 12.
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However, children below 12 are mostly found playing the game, according to the organization.
“The game has no significance and benefits for children, on the contrary, it is dangerous, plus it has a long rope. There are many other focuses for them to do, such as learning to read,” PPMM President Mohd Afiq Salim said to Malay daily, Harian Metro.
“The toy has already been brought to the school and we are worried that it could injure them, so it is better to prevent it from the beginning before any cases occur, even though – so far – there have been no reports of anyone being injured because of the new toy,” he added.
Mother to three, Nurazrien Ayra Ramli, said latto-latto is a waste of time.
“Even though I have never played and there have been no cases of injury because of the toy, I can see the way it is played and know that it is dangerous, even the sound is annoying.
“Around Taman Medan, there are many such toys sold around the streets and night markets, but whatever it is, it’s everyone’s choice. If you’re confident, you can buy it, but I don’t want to take the risk,” the 34-year-old said.
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However, 52-year-old trader Sam Ariffin said latto-latto is not dangerous if played properly.
“The way of playing for children needs to be emphasized by shortening the rope and locking or knotting the upper part so as to avoid the rope being wrapped around the neck or the ball being thrown, which could cause injury to the player.”
“As a dealer, I will teach you how to play correctly and tips so that the toy is safer, besides that, parents also need to monitor how their children play,” he said.