'Something's wrong with this country when people are afraid of colourful watches' Marina says
SHAH ALAM - Human Rights activisit Datin Paduka Marina Mahathir has criticised the authorities for conducting raids on various Swatch outlets in Malaysia and confiscating multiple colourful 'Pride collection' watches.
"There’s something really wrong with this country when people are afraid of colourful watches," she tweeted.
She was responding to raids carried out by home ministry officers at Swatch's Mid Valley Megamall store and issued a notice stating that 22 watches were seized due to the presence of LGBTQ+ symbols on them.
The notice further indicates that the collection violatesthe Printing Presses and Publications Act of 1984, according to a report by Says.
Several other Swatch stores across Malaysia including at 1Utama Shopping Centre, Sunway Pyramid, Sunway Putra Mall, Sogo KL and Vivacity Megamall were also raided on May 13 and 14.
Social media users responded to Marina.
A Peter Tan said: "We must ban rainbows at once".
Another tweeter, CFLIM said: "Any news when will they start shooting down rainbows."
Swatch CEO Nick Hayek was further reported saying at Says that Swatch takes pride in being a brand that has served as a canvas on the wrist for people worldwide and work with other artists.
"Our Swiss-made quality watches are loved for its colour and creativity," he said, adding that its collection of watches featuring rainbow colours promotes messages of peace and love and could be harmful to anyone.
"Swatch has always sought to convey a positive message of joy and celebration of life through our products," he was further quoted as saying.
Nick added that the issue at hand is not political and questioned the reason for the ministry to confiscate the watches that simply depict the beauty of natural rainbows.
He pointed out that rainbows appear naturally in the sky of Malaysia countless times each year, and was puzzled why such a harmless representation would be subject to confiscation.