It is no secret that the folks from the LGBTQIA+ community, to this day, are prejudiced by others with a conservative mindset, sometimes to the point of intolerance, and nowhere is that mindset more prominent than in Malaysia. Case in point, two weekends ago, our government conducted raids at multiple Swatch Stores for displaying its Pride Collection.
The raid was first reported by local news agency The Edge. It says that on 13 and 14 May, multiple Swatch stores across the nation were raided by the Ministry of Home Affairs (KDN) and watches that were part of the brand’s Pride Collection were confiscated. The reason for the confiscation was reportedly due to a social media post that allegedly associated the band Coldplay with its support for the LGBTQIA+ community.
The Pride Collection chronometres, in this case, are adorned with rainbow colours in and around the watch, designed to signify diversity and inclusivity. The affected stores include outlets at Pavilion KL< 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 Swatch stores received warnings: these stores were KTCC in Terengganu, AEON KB, Aman Central Kedah, City Square and Viva City Kuching.
In light of the raid, Nick Hayek Jr., CEO of the Swatch Group, responded to the raid by expressing his dismay and concern, while reinforcing his brand’s ethos. “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 are 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 to whomever.”
At the time of writing, the Swatch Group is appealing to the government to return the confiscated Pride Collection watches.
(Source: The Edge)
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