PETALING JAYA: The home ministry raided 11 Swatch shops last week over the brand’s “Pride Collection” featuring watches with rainbow colours, according to a media report.
The Edge business weekly reported that the raids were conducted on May 13-14 at Swatch outlets in shopping malls, including Pavilion KL, One Utama, Sunway Pyramid, Mid Valley Megamall, Suria Sabah and others.
Five shops at malls in Alor Setar, Kuala Terengganu, Kota Bharu, Johor Bahru, and Kuching were let off with warnings.
The raid reportedly came after netizens linked the collection to British band Coldplay’s support for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community.
The band is scheduled to hold its first concert in Malaysia in November, but a PAS leader has called for the show to be cancelled for promoting “hedonism and deviant cultures”.
Swatch Group CEO Nick Hayek Jr said the company had been renowned for celebrating people of all walks of life through their “colourful and fun” watches.
“We strongly contest that our collection of watches using rainbow colours and having a message of peace and love could be harmful for whomever. This is nothing political,” he was quoted as saying.
He also quipped: “We wonder how the home ministry’s regulatory and enforcement division will confiscate the many beautiful natural rainbows that are showing up a thousand times a year in the sky of Malaysia.”
The Edge reported that Swatch was appealing to the home ministry to return the seized watches.