Religious extremists are afraid of the rainbow in Malaysia?
Malaysia banned the rainbow-inspired LGBTQIA watches from Swiss watchmaker Swatch, with other sellers and owners to face three years in prison there. This was announced by the country’s interior ministry that said that as a Muslim-majority country, any LGBTQIA-linked symbol could “harm morals”.
The ban notice states that anyone who “prints, imports, produces … or has in his possession” such items faces a jail term of up to three years. Any individual wearing or distributing the watches could also be fined 20,000 Malaysian ringgit (£3,425), according to the ban notice.
Homosexuality is outlawed in Malaysia.
Earlier, in May, the law enforcement unit at the Malaysian interior ministry raided Swatch stores at 11 shopping malls across the country to confiscate timepieces bearing what it called “LGBT elements”.
“The Malaysian government is committed to preventing the spread of elements that are harmful or may be harmful to morals,” the interior ministry said in a prepared statement, adding that the watches “may harm… the interests of the nation by promoting, supporting and normalizing the LGBTQ+ movement that is not accepted by the general public.”
The six-color rainbow Pride flag is a known LGBTQIA symbol.