PETALING JAYA: The Swatch watches seized by the home ministry earlier this month had the letters “LGBTQ” inscribed on the face, according to a home ministry source.
The source told FMT the authorities only seized watches that contained these letters.
LGBTQ refers to the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer community.
“We seized hundreds of watches and all of them had the ‘LGBTQ’ letters on the face of the watch.
“We did not seize the watches just because they had the rainbow colour. If that’s the case, we would need to seize Paddle Pop ice creams,” said the insider, who spoke on condition of anonymity.
On May 13 and 14, the home ministry was reported to have raided 11 Swatch shops in shopping malls such as Pavilion KL, 1 Utama, Sunway Pyramid, Mid Valley Megamall, and Suria Sabah over the brand’s “Pride Collection”.
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 LGBT community.
On Friday, the Malay Mail quoted Swatch Group CEO Nick Hayek as saying the watches seized by the ministry did not contain any reference to the LGBT community.
Hayek claimed that Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim, who said the watches were seized due to LGBT elements, was misinformed and that no reference to the LGBT community was featured on the dials of the watches.
The home ministry has refused to return the watches seized during the raid.
Hayek had said the company would take legal action to seek the return of the “Pride Collection” watches.