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Swatch sues Malaysian govt for confiscating its ‘Pride’ watch collection

Swatch Pride collection watches. — Swatch

A Swiss watch company, Swatch, has taken legal action against the Malaysian government for seizing its ‘Pride’ collection watches from its stores.

The suit comes in response to the Malaysian officials act of confiscating 172 watches from the brand’s LGBTQ-themed collection, featuring rainbow-coloured designs, from shopping malls across the country, according to BBC.

The company has demanded Malaysian authorities to return its watches worth $14,000, and has also sought compensation for damages incurred.

Under both the secular and religious laws in Malaysia, homosexual activity has been declared illegal, due to which the government has allegedly taken the alleged action.

Such acts are punishable by imprisonment or corporal punishment. The Swiss watch brand, however, asserts in its lawsuit, filed at the High Court in Kuala Lumpur last month, that the watches do not pose any threat to public order, morality, or legal boundaries.

Through the case scheduled to be heard later this week, according to BBC, Swatch aims to highlight that the watches merely represent a joyful and non-sexual expression of peace, love, and inclusivity.

The company has claimed that its trading reputation suffered due to the seizures and that its “business and trading figures” were adversely affected in the aftermath.

Swatch’s promotional campaign for the Pride-themed watches emphasises their vibrant and meaningful nature, describing them as “a symbol of humanity that speaks for all genders and all races”.

The lawsuit names the Malaysian home affairs ministry and government as respondents, while the Minister of Home Affairs Saifuddin Nasution Ismail has not yet publicly addressed the matter.

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