Home Ministry’s Swatch raid because of LGBT symbol: Anwar

Home Ministry’s Swatch raid because of LGBT symbol: Anwar

PM clarifies seizure not due to colours, but leaves explanation to ministry as he does not know details

KUALA LUMPUR – The Home Ministry’s recent confiscation of Swatch’s Pride-themed watch collection is due to how the products displayed elements related to the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) movement, said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.

Stressing that he has not been given specific details on the raids, Anwar also said that he is leaving it up to the ministry to explain the raids it had conducted on various Swatch outlets nationwide earlier this month.

“I will let the ministry clarify (the raids and subsequent product confiscation) because I don’t have the details (of the enforcement activity).

“The issue was not with the (watches’) colours, but because LGBT (elements) were put (on) the watches,” he said briefly when met by reporters after attending a public discussion with religious scholars in Shah Alam today.

News of the Swatch raids on May 13 and 14 was first reported on Monday, with Swatch Group chief Nick Hayek Jr saying in a statement that there is “nothing political” behind the brand’s collection of watches “having a message of peace and love”.

Swatch Group is said to be making an appeal for the confiscated watches to be returned.

Home Minister Datuk Seri Saifuddin Nasution Ismail, however, continues to remain mum on the matter. Yesterday, he told the Associated Press that he is waiting for a full report on the enforcement actions prior to commenting on the matter.

Netizens have since taken to social media to voice their thoughts on the issue, with many users expressing their bemusement over how the government appears to have taken offence at the rainbow symbol, while pointing out that the home ministry’s resources could have been better used.

Others, however, said that companies operating in Malaysia should adhere to local norms by respecting the country’s cultural sensitivities.

Anwar, who is also Pakatan Harapan chairman, had previously said that the LGBT group, the concept of a secular state and communist ideologies will never be recognised during the administration of his unity government.

Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Religious Affairs) Datuk Mohd Na’im Mokhtar recently announced the formation of a special government committee to handle matters involving LGBT Muslims in the nation.

BY Qistina Nadia Dzulqarnain

source – The Vibes


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