KUALA LUMPUR, June 2 — Fashion retailer H&M has confirmed that its collection supporting the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community is not available in Malaysia.
Malaysiakini reported Sweden-based H&M’s Malaysia & Singapore communications manager Abby Wee as saying the brand is present in 72 markets globally, and as such it has been left to each local market to decide on the collections to be carried.
“With multiple collections launching each season, it is up to each local market to decide on what collections to carry,” Wee was quoted saying.
In a previous statement, H&M’s global marketing and communications director Sara Spännar said the “Love For All” capsule collection will be available only in certain stores around the world throughout the month of May.
The controversy erupted yesterday when Umno supreme council member Datuk Fathul Bari Mat Jahya raised the issue, questioning supposed links between H&M Malaysia and a United Nations campaign supporting the LGBT community called UN Free & Equal.
He had asked if 10 per cent of sales proceeds from the H&M collection would go to the UN campaign.
Saya nak tanya pihak @hmmalaysia . Adakah H&M Malaysia turut TERLIBAT dalam kempen LGBT seperti yg tertera di iG H&M induk & United Nation Free & Equal iG? iaitu hasil jualan 10% akan diberikan kpd gerakan UN Free & Equal utk mendokong perjuangan LGBT? Tq @azmanhaj pic.twitter.com/Fqyv66yjJp— Dr. Fathul Bari (@drfathulbari) 31 May 2019
The campaign was launched by the Office of the UN High Commissioner in July 2014, aiming to promote equal rights and fair treatment of LGBT people.
Fathul was responding on Twitter to another tweet calling for a boycott of H&M over its “Love For All” collection that features a range of rainbow-inspired designs and messages promoting equal rights to love.
Although some of his supporters backed the idea for a boycott, others noted on social media of the hypocrisy of doing so in light of other major international brands that also support equal rights for LGBT.