Malaysia seizes rainbow-colored watches from the Pride collection in Swatch stores

Malaysia seizes rainbow-colored watches from the Pride collection in Swatch stores

May 24, 2023

Kuala Lumpur [Malaysia], May 24: Malaysian police raided the stores of Swiss watch manufacturer Swatch and seized 164 watches from their Pride collection.
According to Swatch, officials from the Ministry of Home Affairs raided retail stores across Malaysia on May 13 and 14 and seized watches because they "had LGBT connotations."
The watches are sold in six colors of the rainbow, which is a symbol of gay people.
Svoč condemned the seizure and stated that the collection of watches with rainbow colors and a message of peace and love cannot be harmful to anyone.
"On the contrary, Swatch always promotes a positive message of the joy of life. It is not about politics. We wonder how the Ministry of Home Affairs will confiscate the many beautiful natural rainbows that appear a thousand times a year in the skies of Malaysia," said Swatch CEO Nick Hayek Jr.
Swatch, they said, continued to sell watches from the Pride collection and their lawyers are investigating the seizure.
Malaysian Home Affairs Minister SaifudinNasution told the AP that he is waiting for the report before addressing the public on the issue.
Malaysian LGBT rights group Jejaka criticized the confiscation of the watches, saying it showed a "deeply disturbing level of intolerance".
"It's more than colorful watches. It's about respect for diversity, freedom of expression and, most importantly, love," the statement said, calling on the government to promote a culture of acceptance and understanding, not repression and discrimination.
Same-sex relationships are criminalized in Malaysia. Punishments for this range from beatings under Islamic law to 20 years in prison for sodomy under colonial-era civil laws.
The opposition Pan-Malaysian Islamic Party recently criticized British band Coldplay's scheduled concert in November for their support of the LGBT movement.
Source: Beta News Agency