Swiss watchmaker says authorities in Muslim majority nation seized 164 LGBTQ pride-themed watches.
Malaysian authorities have seized watches launched by Swiss firm Swatch to have a good time LGBTQ satisfaction, the newest incident to boost considerations in regards to the rights of sexual minorities within the Muslim-majority nation.
Swatch stated on Tuesday that authorities had carried out raids on Swatch shops at 11 buying malls on Might 13 and 14, seizing 164 watches value a complete of $14,000.
The Swiss watchmaker, based mostly in Biel/Bienne, launched its line of brightly colored timepieces impressed by the rainbow flag to “have a good time the unity and variety that make our society — and Swatch — so sturdy.”
Swatch Group Chief Govt Nick Hayek expressed concern in regards to the raids, questioning how a message of “peace and love could possibly be dangerous”.
“We surprise how the house ministry’s enforcement unit will confiscate the numerous stunning pure rainbows which might be exhibiting up thousand occasions a 12 months within the sky of Malaysia,” Hayek stated in an announcement.
Officers from Malaysia’s house affairs ministry stated “22 Swatch watches with LGBT components” had been confiscated at one Change outlet, in response to a summons discover issued below the Printing Presses and Publications Act of 1984 and cited by the AFP information company.
Swatch stated it deliberate to replenish its shares of the watches and proceed to promote them within the Southeast Asian nation.
In an announcement posted on Twitter, the Malaysian LGBTQ-rights advocacy group JEJAKA condemned the raid and stated it revealed “a deeply unsettling degree of intolerance”.
JEJAKA condemns the current seizure of the Swatch Pleasure Assortment in Malaysia and requires the promotion of variety and acceptance. Learn our official assertion right here: pic.twitter.com/GQIz8F63ro
— JEJAKA 🏳️🌈 (@jejakaorg) May 22, 2023
Residence Minister Saifuddin Nasution advised the Related Press information company that he was ready for a full report on the incident earlier than commenting on the matter.
Malaysia, which is about 60 % Muslim, criminalises sexual exercise between members of the identical intercourse and prohibits the Malay-Muslim majority from partaking in expressions of gender and sexuality that go towards Islamic teachings.
On Tuesday, two members of parliament from the Pan-Malaysian Islamic Get together (PAS), the most important single social gathering in Malaysia’s parliament, stated that LGBTQ individuals must be categorized as affected by a psychological sickness.
Earlier this month, a senior PAS official referred to as for an upcoming live performance by British rock band Coldplay to be cancelled in a social media put up that includes an image of frontman Chris Martin holding a rainbow flag.
In October, non secular police raided an LGBTQ-friendly Halloween social gathering in Kuala Lumpur’s Chinatown, arresting 20 Muslim males for cross-dressing.