KUALA LUMPUR: The High Court has granted Swatch Malaysia leave to commence judicial review proceedings against the government over the seizure of 172 watches, including those from its “Pride Collection” series.
Justice Amarjeet Singh made the order today after lawyer Nizam Bashir informed the court that the attorney-general had no objection to the merits of the case being heard.
Senior federal counsel Farah Shuhada Ramli, appearing for the attorney-general, confirmed the matter.
The matter will be called up before a deputy registrar for case management on Sept 6 prior to a hearing date being fixed.
Swatch Malaysia went to court after officers from the home ministry seized the watches from various outlets between May 13 and 15.
The watchmaker was informed through a notice of seizure issued by the ministry that the watches had been seized because they bore elements promoting the LGBTQ community.
Swatch claims the seizure is illegal as the watches are not a form of “publication” within the definition given to the term under the Printing Presses and Publication Act 1984 (PPPA).
It says that under PPPA, the term “publication” is used only for documents, newspapers, books or any materials in printed form.
“The said watches have yet to be defined as a prohibited publication, thus the officers have no powers to enter the applicant’s outlets to seize them,” the company said in its leave application.
Swatch Malaysia also said some of the timepiece models had been on sale in Malaysia for more than a year. It said it had not been notified of any complaints regarding the watches by the ministry either.
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