PETALING JAYA: The home ministry is unlikely to return the rainbow-themed Swatch watches it seized from the Swiss company’s 11 outlets over a week ago, FMT has been made to understand.
It is learned from sources in the know that the ministry will stand its ground despite coming under fire over the raid on the Swatch outlets.
Swatch CEO Nick Hayek has said the company would take legal action to seek the return of the “Pride Collection” watches.
However, the ministry’s regulatory and enforcement division has “no plans” to return the watches as the raids were carried out “according to the letter of the law”.
It is understood that the raids were carried out under the Printing Presses and Publications Act 1984 for the publication of materials that are deemed prejudicial to public order, morality, security, public or national interest.
According to the sources FMT spoke to, who declined to be named, home minister Saifuddin Nasution Ismail had been briefed on the raids.
It was previously reported that the home ministry raided 11 Swatch outlets nationwide on May 13 and 14, and confiscated the watches.
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 community.
Muda deputy president Amira Aisya Abdul Aziz had urged Saifuddin 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.