The Associated Press reports:
Malaysia’s government said Thursday that all Swatch products that contain lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or queer elements — including watches, wrappers and boxes — were banned, warning that anyone found with one could be jailed for up to three years.
The ban has been published in the Federal Gazette — which makes it official — as part of a printing law that includes distribution and possession, citing concerns that such products were detrimental to the nation’s morality.
Malaysia, which is predominantly Muslim, already criminalizes same-sex relationships, with punishments ranging from caning under Islamic laws to 20 years in prison for sodomy under colonial-era civil laws.
The Bangkok Post reports:
In May, Malaysia confiscated rainbow-coloured watches from Swatch’s Pride collection because of the presence of the acronym ‘LGBTQ’ on the watches.
LGBTQ rights in Malaysia have come under scrutiny after the government last month halted a music festival in Kuala Lumpur. It took the move after Matty Healy, the frontman of the British pop band The 1975, kissed a male bandmate onstage and criticised the country’s anti-LGBTQ laws.
The discussion on LGBTQ rights comes at a politically sensitive time in multi-ethnic, multi-faith Malaysia. Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim’s progressive coalition government will face its first major test of public support on Saturday, when six states hold elections.
Malaysia has banned all Swatch products that contain LGBTQ elements, warning that anyone found with one could be jailed for up to 3 years.
In May, authorities raided Swatch stores and confiscated more than 160 watches from its Pride Collection. https://t.co/a3lcq3AdbM
— NBC News World (@NBCNewsWorld) August 10, 2023
Malaysia bans Swatch LGBTQ+ themed watches as pressure mounts on Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim’s government to keep conservative voters happy https://t.co/dBAUy7MSlq
— Bloomberg (@business) August 10, 2023