Earlier this week, it was reported that the government had raided Swatch stores across Malaysia and confiscated the rainbow watches at numerous malls. Swatch’s chief executive officer Nick Hayek objected to the raids in an official statement, while social media users voiced out their conflicting sentiments on the issue.

Following this, Prime Minister Dato’ Seri Anwar Ibrahim has commented briefly on the issue, saying that the confiscation occurred because the watches had LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender) symbols and not because of the colours. The vivid watches were part of Swatch’s Pride Watches 2023 collection, inspired by the Pride flag which symbolises pride and LGBT social movements.

As reported by Malay Mail, Anwar deflected the question and commented, "Let KDN explain because I don't have enough details (about the case)." KDN refers to the Kementerian Dalam Negeri, or the Ministry of Home Affairs. However, the Home Ministry has yet to respond to requests by the media for an explanation about the raids.

Swatch Watches Have Only Been Seized in Malaysia

Malay Mail have also reported that Swatch has confirmed that the timepieces have only been seized in Malaysia. According to the company’s website, they have a presence in more than 100 countries worldwide including other regions where Islam is the official religion such as Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

Swatch to Replenish Watches

According to international news publication The Guardian, the recent raid will not stop the Swiss company from selling the watches in Malaysia. “As per instruction from Switzerland HQ, we will still replenish the stock and display them on-shelf,” said Sarah Kok, marketing manager for Swatch Malaysia.

Swatch to Take Legal Action

The company will not lie low on the matter as according to a report by Reuters, Swiss newspaper Tages-Anzeiger stated that the company said that it would take legal action to recover the goods.

‘Watch’ this space as the drama continues to unfold.

Image credit: facebook.com/swatchuk, facebook.com/anwaribrahimofficial