Crime & Justice

Swatch sues Malaysian gov’t over seizure of Pride watches

Bangkok, Jul 17 (EFE) – Swatch has filed a complaint against the Malaysian government after authorities confiscated a series of rainbow-colored watches celebrating gay pride, a report citing the Swiss watch manufacturer said Monday.

Same-sex acts are illegal in Malaysia and homosexuality is a crime in the Muslim-majority nation.

Although the complaint was filed on June 24 and aims to seek compensation and the recovery of 172 watches that were seized by Malaysian authorities, the case came to light on Monday following an article published in the local Malay Mail tabloid.

Police seized Swatch’s Pride Collection watches from several stores in May over their alleged links to the LGBTQ rights movement.

According to the complaint cited by the Malay Mail, Swatch claims that the seizures were done “illegally” and “irrationally,” and that the watches posed no risk to public order, morality or any other law.

In an email sent to EFE, the Swiss company said that, as a matter of principle, it does not comment on ongoing legal cases.

Current Prime Minister, Anwar Ibrahim, spent nearly a decade in prison on charges of sodomy and corruption, allegations that he denies, but upon becoming PM he has underscored that his government will not give more rights to the LGTBQ community.

In recent years there have been several high-profile incidents involving the creative and business sectors as a result of stringent LGBTQ laws.

Transgender businesswoman, Nur Sajat, fled Malaysia in September last year after being accused of violating Islamic law and, after being temporarily held in Thailand, was finally welcomed in Australia.

Movies such as “Beauty and the Beast” (2017) and “Thor: Love and Thunder” (2022) were withdrawn from Malaysian screens for having scenes that the government objected to due to their LGBTQ references. EFE


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