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Swatch’s “Pride Collection” Watches Confiscated By Home Ministry

Swatch’s “Pride Collection” Watches Confiscated By Home Ministry

On 13 and 14 May, the Home Ministry raided several Swatch stores in Malaysia and confiscated the rainbow-coloured timepieces.

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The Home Ministry raided the Malaysian stores of Swiss watchmaker Swatch and confiscated the items from the company’s “Pride Collection” which sported rainbow colours – a symbol adopted by the LGBTQIA community.

According to Malay Mail, Home Ministry enforcers seized the items from Swatch outlets in Pavilion Kuala Lumpur, 1 Utama, Sunway Pyramid, Setia City Mall, Mid Valley Megamall, Southkey, Sunway Putra Mall, Sogo KL, Queensbay, Fahrenheit 88 and Suria Sabah on 13 and 14 May.

Meanwhile, stores in KTCC (Terengganu), Aeon KB, Aman Central Kedah, City Square, and Viva City Kuching were issued warning notices.

Swatch group chief executive officer Nick Hayek Jr said the brand has consistently produced colourful timepieces to represent diversity and celebrate people from all walks of life.

Swatch is proud of being the canvas on the wrist for all people worldwide and many artists working with us. Creativity and colours paired with Swiss-made quality is what we are loved for. We strongly contest that our collection of watches using rainbow colours and having a message of peace and love could be harmful for whomever. On the contrary, Swatch always promotes a positive message of joy in life. This is nothing political. We wonder how the Home Ministry’s Enforcement and Control Division will confiscate the many beautiful natural rainbows that are showing up thousand times a year in the sky of Malaysia.

Swatch group chief executive officer Nick Hayek Jr

Swatch Group is making appeals for the confiscated items to be returned.

Image: Swatch

Netizens criticize the raid

The raid has drawn criticism from people online who felt that it was a form of selective prosecution and bullying.

A netizen said the watches were not confiscated due to the colours but because Swatch openly celebrated Pride Month. The same netizen pointed out that the company should obey the local law.

In response, other people pointed out the hypocrisy in flouting the other laws in place but everyone turns a blind eye.

Another netizen said most international brands support LGBTQIA groups. If the government intends to go down this path, the country might lose big brands, face job losses and a bad economy.

The raid has also led netizens to wonder whether the Home Ministry will seize any rainbow-coloured items such as the Paddle Pop ice cream, colourful umbrella decors, and colour pencils.

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