PETALING JAYA: The “LGBTQ” term printed on the confiscated Swatch watches is the reason why all 164 watches were seized by the authorities, not the colours of the rainbow.
According to The Vibes, a senior official from the Home Ministry said critics were ill-informed of the nature of the raid which took place at 11 Swatch stores nationwide between May 13 and 14.
The official on condition of anonymity said the word “LGBTQIA2S” which stands for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer or questioning, intersex, asexual, and two-spirit were prominently featured on the watches.
He also told the online portal that enforcement was carried out based on contraventions to Section 7(1) of the Printing Presses and Publications Act 1984, where the section grants the home minister absolute discretion to prohibit any publication or item “prejudicial to or likely to be prejudicial to public order, morality, (or) security”.
“As a report was lodged we had to take action based on present regulations.
“We hope that rainbow-coloured items will be banned are just (forms of) sarcastic humour and not a misperception of what will exactly happen,” said the official.
On the other hand, he said Swatch Group CEO Nick Hayek was misrepresenting what had happened by initiating legal action against the home ministry.
“We have nothing against peace, love, diversity and inclusivity which Hayek said the collection propagates,” the official said.
“But the wording and symbols go against our regulations,” he said.