Monday, June 9, 2008


IRENE FERNANDEZ was a college mate of Mrs Zorro in the Bukit Nanas Nazareth Teachers Training College. I remember borrowing friends cars ferrying Karen, Irene, Norma and a few others during those wooing days of the mid-60s. After they graduated, we lost touch with Irene until she appeared on the national scene, albeit in less favorable circumstances. Her appeal was delayed because some papers went a-missing but has recently resurfaced (miraculously?). This is my contribution to the appeal from her three kids. This much I owe Irene. DOMINUS VOBIS CUM Irene. Below is a letter her children sent to RPK:

Dear Raja Petra,

Firstly, allow us to express our regret at your unlawful detention recently. We were greatly shocked and dismayed when we heard the news. We hope that you are in good health and will continue to write in the true and sincere patriotic spirit you always have. As you have said, God works in mysterious ways and in Him we must trust. Let us see where His plan leads.

The reason I'm writing to you is to make a small plea. I'm sure you are familiar with the trial of Irene Fernandez, which has been going on for the past 12 years. I don't think it's necessary for me to go through all the case details as I'm sure you're well aware of them. To summarize it quickly, she was convicted in 2003 on the charge of "maliciously publishing false news" under the Printing Presses & Publications Act and sentenced to 12 months imprisonment. She is out on bail now and her appeal process is ongoing. However, there are several glitches thanks to "missing notes of evidence and exhibits".

We, her children (Tania, 27; Camverra, 26 and Katrina, 23) have basically grown up with our mother's trial. As some may say, we have been "scarred" for life, although we do not agree and instead feel empowered for life. In any case, although we will never forget what we as a family have had to endure, it is perhaps easier for members of the public to allow it to slip from their minds. And who's to blame them, it has after all been 12 years already. But this is our plea to you. We ask if you could help reopen the public eye to the injustice that has been committed against our mother. She has sacrificed so much for society through the dedication in her work and struggle for social justice all these years and all we ask is for society to support her now in this time of need.

No we are not asking for financial contributions or anything of that sort. All we are asking for now is for your moral support. I think the best way to state our plea is by quoting my sister, Katrina, in a mail she sent out before the last hearing date on April 1st (I've edited her message to suit the latest developments in the trial - changes in red):

This is a plea. Quite plain & simple.

A plea for support.

There is no shame in pleading.

There is no shame when the cause is good.honest.just.

The appeal was scheduled to be heard from April 1st - 10th, after Five long, uncertain years since she was sentenced to 12-months imprisonment for

having a conscience
voicing out the cries of those who have been silenced
speaking the truth
doing the right thing.

Unfortunately, the appeal process may now be in jeopardy as a result of evidence, witness statements and trial records that have gone missing.11th June 2008 has now been set for the court to hear submissions from both lawyers on the implications of the missing records on the appeal.

This is our plea:
Please show your support by being present in the court room.
Please tell your friends.
Please be present in thought & spirit.
Please pray.
Please channel positive thoughts.

Please Never underestimate the power of solidarity.

We also ask this of you;

Regardless of which way judgment swings, please continue to
act honestly, in good faith and in the name of justice, for these are also powerful ways through which we demonstrate solidarity.

I read what Christ has gone through. It really motivates me - He never compromised on love and justice, nor the truth. -- Irene Fernandez

More on Irene. Read too her acceptance speech (sidebar)


Anonymous said...

Where and what time is the trial?

GobloKing said...


What an Extraordinary Person!

Sorry I have been so "away" I have never heard of her case

And to think we are throwing a pearl of such beautiful lustre before those swines.

Although I was feeling quite depressed after my visit to the hospital cancer kids, reading about what Irene has achieved and has fought for, lifted my spirits up.

Thanks for the posting Zorro. NOW I won't ever forget who Irene Fernandez is!!

Anonymous said...

Dear Children of Irene,

I wish you all the best and as a parent, I pray all continued to brave the uncertain and be proud of your love to your mom!

Thank You. ChoonLee

Samuel Goh Kim Eng said...

Anyone who hangs on to doing what's right
Can't be guilty of doing any wrong
May all judges and jury get to see the true light
And we pray that all persecuted innocent souls remain strong

(C) Samuel Goh Kim Eng - 100608
Tue. 10th June 2008.

bluskyes said...

Dear Zorro
Thanks for this article - small correction, though: Irene's children are not all girls, it's 2 girls and the middle (Camverra) is a boy. I know him personally, so thought I should let you know :-)
Take care, and thanks again for highlighting this grave injustice...

bluskyes said...

btw...please don't feel that you need to publish my comment...just wanted to update you with correct info :-)

zorro said...

Thanks Bluskyes. Misinformation admitted and corrected.

lanaibeach said...

The truth will be known
No matter what the case outcome
People like Irene fighting for a cause
Where the government tries hard to hide

Taking the draconian laws to silence
The critics fighting for injustices
It is sad when we heard what others say
About the high handed ways the authorities go

I remember way back in Klang
Living in kampong seeing the gangs fight
When Police came they arrested any body
In the village and whacked them on Black Maria
In full view of the villagers…………..
You think the police officers care?

Irene is one of those women
Dare to go where others fail
She is willing to fight for a cause she truly believing it
Causing her anguish through the years
When the authorities trying to hide…………

The truth will set the nation free
Her citizens will celebrate with joyous leap
It is the officials and government leaders
Trying to dig hole after hole
Suppressing truth it will come full circle

Irene one of those beacons of hope
The people in Malaysia has
Now there are many fighting in cyber-space against injustices
For truth will set the country free

Anonymous said...

Thanks for this. She's a wonderful woman fighting for a cause that affects all of us.

MakLijah said...

I admit, i was one of those who forgot.

Thank you Zorro for highlighting this.

Anonymous said...

my headmaster said, "....there is NO JUSTICE in this world and malaysia is SAME lah .........!!"