- Swiss watchmaker, Swatch Group, lodges lawsuit against the Malaysian government for confiscating their 'Pride Collection' watches.
- Majority of the seized watches, collectively valued at $14,250.05, did not display 'LGBTQ' inscriptions.
- This lawsuit surfaces amidst the upcoming regional elections, further stirring Malaysia's political and social environment.
Amidst the bustling city life of Kuala Lumpur, c
Homosexuality, considered an offense in predominantly Muslim Malaysia, is under scrutiny, as human rights organizations caution about the escalating antagonism against Malaysia's LGBTQ community. Swatch Group's 'Pride Collection' watches, boasting the 'LGBTQ' inscription, were confiscated by Malaysian authorities back in May, as revealed by the Home Minister.
As per Swatch Group's claim in the court documents reviewed by Reuters, the Home Ministry seized 172 watches from 16 outlets, an act they have labeled as "illegal". The company staunchly argues that the watches are by no means capable of inciting any disruption to the public order or morality, or any law violations.
This legal action, filed in the Kuala Lumpur high court, is seeking damages and return of the confiscated watches. Swatch Group asserts that their business operations in Malaysia have been significantly compromised due to these seizures. Notably, most of the confiscated watches, with a collective retail worth of $14,250.05, did not bear the 'LGBTQ' inscription.
In the midst of this legal tussle, Malaysia's impending regional elections loom large, with Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim's progressive coalition contending against a predominantly conservative ethnic-Malay Muslim alliance. Anwar, despite being accused of not sufficiently safeguarding Muslim rights in multi-racial, multi-faith Malaysia, reaffirms that his administration will stand by the principles of Islam and will not recognize LGBT rights.
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