Swatch CEO Responds After PM Anwar Says Seized Rainbow Watches Displayed LGBT Symbols

Swatch Group chief executive officer (CEO) Nick Hayek said that Anwar could have been misinformed.

Cover image via Peter Schneider/Keystone & Swatch (Provided to SAYS)

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Swatch has contested Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim's remarks that the rainbow-coloured watches that were seized from its Pride Collection displayed symbols related to the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer+ (LGBTQ+) community

According to Nick Hayek, the chief executive officer (CEO) of the Swiss-based Swatch Group, the timepieces that were seized by authorities after officers from the Ministry of Home Affairs (MOHA) raided 11 Swatch outlets across Malaysia on 13 and 14 May contained no reference to the LGBT community.

This comes after Anwar on Thursday, 25 May, offered a brief statement to explain the raid carried out by the ministry under Datuk Seri Saifuddin Nasution Ismail, saying that the issue was not with the colours, but because Swatch had placed LGBT elements on the rainbow-coloured watches.

"Let the ministry explain themselves. It is not an issue of the colours displayed on the watch, but the LGBT wording. I'm sorry, but I haven't seen the details," New Straits Times quoted Anwar as saying.

The Swatch CEO said that Anwar could have been misinformed

"The Malaysian Prime Minister Mr Anwar Ibrahim stated in a recent interview that Swatch's latest collection of colourful watches includes the letters LGBT on their dials. Apparently, he was misinformed. Swatch has not included any reference to the LGBT community on the dials of this year's Pride Collection.

"These colourful watches include the meaning of each pride colour (life, healing, sunlight, nature, harmony, spirit) on their minute hands and two loops that form a rainbow," Hayek said in a statement to SAYS yesterday, 26 May.

Prior to this, the company said that it will replenish the stock

A representative from Swatch Malaysia shared that they have received instructions from its Switzerland headquarters to restock the rainbow watches and display them on shelves, reported The Guardian.

Swatch also said that it will take legal action to recover its rainbow watches.

Read more about the case here:

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