Saifuddin awaits full report on Swatch raid before weighing in: report

Saifuddin awaits full report on Swatch raid before weighing in: report

After mixed reception from public, Home Ministry has yet to comment on seizure of Pride watches

KUALA LUMPUR – Home Minister Datuk Seri Saifuddin Nasution Ismail remains mum for now on the raid on multiple Swatch outlets nationwide to confiscate the brand’s collection of Pride-themed watches.

He told the Associated Press that he is waiting for a full report on the raids prior to weighing in on the matter.

The Home Ministry has not commented on the raids, which were reportedly carried out on May 13 and 14.

Malaysians have been divided over the raid, with some saying that the ministry had used its resources poorly while some felt it was legally done as the Pride-themed watches relate to LGBT communities

The government’s stand, however, has always been to reform LGBT individuals, especially if they are Muslim. It was announced through the religious affairs minister that a special committee has been formed to handle matters and issues involving LGBT Muslims.

“The LGBT community’s rights to practise their lifestyle is still subject to laws that do not allow such behaviour in Malaysia,” Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Religious Affairs) Datuk Mohd Na’im Mokhtar said in a parliamentary written reply yesterday.

Prior to the raids, a Facebook post had connected the collection of watches to British band Coldplay and LGBT Pride, as frontman Chris Martin has waved the rainbow flag in previous concerts.

News of Coldplay’s concert in Kuala Lumpur this November 22 was met with hostility by several political figures and religious leaders, who claimed it would promote hedonistic values.

While Swatch Group chief Nick Hayek Jr condemned the ministry’s actions, saying that the use of rainbow colours could not be deemed harmful to anyone, detractors pointed out that the Pride rainbow, which has six colours, is different from natural rainbows which have seven.

Meanwhile, gay and bisexual support group Jaringan Kebajikan Komuniti (Jejaka) questioned the legality of the ministry’s actions and said the raids “reveal a deeply unsettling level of intolerance”.

– The Vibes, May 24, 2023

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