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Swatch to take legal action to recover 'LGBT-themed' watches seized by government
Published on: Wednesday, May 24, 2023
By: FMT
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Swatch to take legal action to recover 'LGBT-themed' watches seized by government
The home ministry raided 11 Swatch outlets in shopping malls across the country on May 13 and 14, seizing the brand’s rainbow-themed ‘Pride Collection’ watches.
PETALING JAYA: Swatch Group will take legal action to recover its rainbow-themed “Pride Collection” watches that were seized by the home ministry in multiple raids earlier this month.

According to Reuters, Swatch CEO Nick Hayek said he was disappointed and concerned by the ministry’s raids, and reiterated that the watches’ message of “peace and love” was not harmful to anyone.

Reuters quoted Swiss newspaper Tages-Anzeiger as saying the company will take legal action to seek the return of the watches.

The Edge business weekly reported that the home ministry raided 11 Swatch outlets in shopping malls across the country, including Pavilion KL, 1 Utama, Sunway Pyramid, Mid Valley Megamall, and Suria Sabah, on May 13 and 14.

Five shops at malls in Alor Setar, Kuala Terengganu, Kota Bharu, Johor Bahru and Kuching were let off with warnings.

Enforcement officers seized the brand’s “Pride Collection”, featuring watches with rainbow colours, after social media users linked the collection to British band Coldplay’s support for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community.

Muda deputy president Amira Aisya Abdul Aziz had urged home minister Saifuddin Nasution Ismail to explain Putrajaya’s position on the raids, voicing concern over the “ambiguity” of what can be construed as “harmful”.

The Puteri Wangsa assemblyman questioned if the ministry would start raiding all shops that sold anything with rainbows or the word “pride” inscribed.

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