In Malaysia, abstain from being gay. Or to wear a watch that suggests it. Specifically, wearing a watch from the famous Swatch brand in the colors of the LGBTQ flag – the famous flag “Rainbow” – could be worth you… A prison sentence of three years. And a fine of 3,800 euros. Yes yes, without laughing.
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Something to surprise the famous Swiss manufacturer. In any case, this is what the Malaysian Interior Ministry declared on August 10, condemning both sellers and buyers. Even manufacturers are threatened by this new decision. As LGBTQ culture magazine Têtu observes, “nothing stops homophobes, and certainly not ridicule“. The magazine sees there a real homophobia of State.
Homosexuality in Malaysia? An attack on morality!
It’s a fact: for the Malaysian government, homosexuality “undermines morality“. So much so that when you can’t go after the people concerned, you go after their watches. As Têtu notes, the local authorities thus carried out searches last May within many Swatch boutiques in the country in order to take possession… Of 172 watches featuring the colors of the rainbow.
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In Malaysia, homosexuality is illegal and LGBT people are treated like criminals. No law prevents their discrimination. Prosecution, imprisonment and corporal punishment threaten homosexuals, lesbians and transgender people. Last February, moreover, three children’s books were purely and simply banned by the government, accused of “promote LGBTQ lifestyles“.
Even more recently, the excellent rock group The 1975 had to cut short one of its concerts in Malaysia. The reason ? A kiss exchanged between singer Matty Healy and bassist Ross MacDonald.
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When discrimination concerns a marginalized population, it often extends far beyond it. This is the same country that last year saw its deputy minister for women and the family, Siti Zailah Mohd Yusoff, trivialize violence against women by recommending that husbands beat “gently“their wives”stubborn” for the “discipline“, without forgetting to “ask them the permission” to talk.
An entire program !