Malaysian ministry raids Swatch boutiques, seizes ‘Pride Collection’ watches over alleged Link to LGBT

Malaysian ministry raids Swatch boutiques, seizes ‘Pride Collection’ watches over alleged Link to LGBT

KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA— The Malaysian Ministry of Home Affairs (KDN) conducted raids on 11 Swatch watch boutiques in multiple states and seized a collection of watches featuring rainbow colors, claiming that they were associated with the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community.

The confiscated watches were part of Swatch’s “Pride Collection.” The six seized watch designs are titled “Proudly Red”, “Proudly Orange”, “Proudly Yellow”, “Proudly Green”, “Proudly Blue”, and “Proudly Violet”. They sell for RM365 each.

The raids occurred over a two-day period on May 13th and 14th following a social media post that linked the colorful watches to British band Coldplay’s support for the LGBTQ+ community.

The post stated: “No need to wait for Coldplay. Whoever wears the Swatch watch can throw it away now!”

The targeted boutiques were located in Pavilion Kuala Lumpur, One Utama, Sunway Pyramid, Setia City Mall, Mid Valley Megamall, Southkey, Sunway Putra Mall, Sogo KL, Queensbay, Fahrenheit 88, and Suria Sabah.

Additionally, five other boutiques received warnings, namely those at Kuala Terengganu City Centre, AEON Kota Bharu, Aman Central Kedah, City Square, and Viva City Kuching.

During the raid at Swatch’s Mid Valley Megamall store, the officers served a notice stating that 22 watches were seized due to their inclusion of LGBTQ+ symbols.

The notice also mentioned that the collection was in violation of the Printing Presses and Publications Act of 1984. According to the Act, brands that sell items deemed harmful or potentially harmful to morals may face legal consequences.

CEO of the Swatch Group expressed disappointment regarding the confiscations

According to Malaysia media The Edge, Nick Hayek Jr., the CEO of the Swatch Group, expressed surprise and disappointment regarding the confiscations.

“We strongly contest that our collection of watches using rainbow colours and having a message of peace and love could be harmful.”

“We wonder how the home ministry’s enforcement unit will confiscate the many beautiful natural rainbows that are showing up thousand times a year in the sky of Malaysia.”

“Swatch always promotes a positive message of joy in life. This is nothing political,” Hayek stated, while noting that rainbows show up “thousand times a year in the sky of Malaysia”.

Coldplay & LGBT

Recently, Nasrudin Hassan, a committee member of Parti Islam se-Malaysia (PAS), made a call to cancel Coldplay’s upcoming concert in Malaysia.

“Does the government intend to promote a culture of hedonism and deviance in this country? I advise cancelling the performance of this group in Malaysia altogether. It does not bring any benefits to religion, race, and the nation, ” the PAS member wrote in a Faceboo post.

The band is scheduled to perform in Kuala Lumpur in November 2023, and tickets for the concert have already been sold out.

While Malaysia’s Prime Minister, Anwar Ibrahim, initially welcomed the announcement of Coldplay’s concert, issues have also arisen due to scalpers attempting to resell tickets at inflated prices.

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