Media Statement by Teresa Kok in Kuala Lumpur on
Tuesday, 24th November 2008:
DAP welcomes acquital of Dr Irene
Fernandez, calls for inquiry into conduct of case and review of outdated
I welcome the decision of the Kuala Lumpur
High Court to acquit and discharge of Dr Irene Fernandez of the charge
of "maliciously publishing false news" under section 8A(1) of the
Printing Presses and Publications Act 1984. Albeit many years late, this
decision exonerates her and gives hope to the many other Malaysians who
are struggling for justice under the various other oppressive laws such
as the ISA (Internal Security Act) , the Restricted Residence Ordinance,
the Police Act etc.
I note that she was first charged in 1996 and her case has earned the
notorious record of being the longest-running legal case in Malaysian
Through the past 13 years, I cannot begin to comprehend the mental
anguish, psychological duress and physical stress that this brave woman
suffered for daring to speak truth to power and for selflessly seeking
to expose malpractices, to seek justice and better working conditions
for migrant workers who are in Malaysia to earn a living and in the
process contribute to Malaysia's economic progress.
I call upon the Attorney-General and the Minister responsible for Law to
do the right thing and commission an urgent inquiry into the
circumstances of the original charges against Dr Fernandez, the conduct
of the trial and the many mishaps along the way such as the unreasonable
delays, the missing physical records of evidence and the loss of
computer data. This is a classic example of the legal maxim of "justice
delayed is justice denied".
I stress that I am not, for one moment, questioning the jurisdiction or
the prerogative of the Courts in the conduct of this case. I welcome the
decision as hopefully, an indication of the reformed and independent
judiciary that the new Chief Justice, Tan Sri Zaki Azmi promised
Malaysians when he took office recently.
I also wish to call upon the Attorney-General to henceforth review all
legislation such as the one that Dr Fernandez was charged under with a
view of amending and even repealing all outdated legislation that no
longer have a place in modern democratic society.
Finally, I call upon the government to consider some form of
compensation in consideration of Dr Fernandez's ordeal arising from the
long-drawn out trial.
* Teresa Kok Suh Sim, DAP National Organising Secretary
& MP for Seputeh