Thursday, October 16, 2008

Marina Lee: Is Parliament Still Relevant?

Marina Lee: Is Parliament Still Relevant?

Wednesday, 07 May 2008

'...when freedom of speech is being brutally subverted by the present regime and false charges can be instituted against anyone, who dares to demand for justice and truth?'

As a wife and mother, I want to know from my fellow citizens whether a government that has incarcerated my husband at the Sungai Buloh Prison on trumped-up charges and brought untold suffering on my family, especially when one of my daughters is sitting for her final examinations, is a legitimate government.

No wife, mother or child should have to go through this horrible experience when all her beloved husband did was to uphold justice and truth.

On May 2 2008, the 'Armed Might' of the regime was unleashed on my family when they came to my house in search of evidence for some alleged crime that my husband was supposed to have committed.

I thought that this can only happen in a Gestapo state but not in my beloved Malaysia . You'd be the judge of this.

The police came in the morning and desecrated the sanctity of my home for the fourth time. The fact that this had occurred previously does not make it any easier for my daughter and I.

I wish that such nightmares can be forgotten, but let me tell you, especially mothers and wives, that the pain will never go away and that it is only our family's self esteem and strength and our faith in God that has enabled us to withstand and overcome the trauma and pain that we have suffered together.

I pray that no mother and wife will have to suffer and experience what I had with my beloved husband and my family.

Before we had time to recover our composure, the police handed us a summons to appear before the CCID the following day. However at 3:15pm, we received a call to appear at 4:00pm on the same day.My suspicion for this sudden change in the time for my husband to be interrogated was to prevent publicity and the exposure of their dastardly deeds.

Can anyone of you imagine what I, as a wife and mother, had to go through emotionally and psychologically when accompanying my husband to be interrogated by the police when on a previous occasion in 2000, he was brutally assaulted in my presence?

I could not express my anxiety to my husband on the way to the CCID, as I know that my strength and resoluteness would be critical to enable my husband to face his interrogators. He must have also felt the same for me and so both of us, thinking alike kept our silence. But we were determined to see this through together come hell or high water.

The Petras' are not some tofus!! We have enough strength and dignity to overcome such adversity. My daughter suffered in silence and despite her age, she held up magnificently and no mother can be prouder than I to have such a daughter.

As we approached the CCID, tears welled in my eyes, but they were not tears of fear, sadness or trepidation, but the expression of my determination and faith that my husband's struggle will ensure a better future for my daughter and the children of a better Malaysia .

I am proud to say that my husband overcame the intrigues and schemes and came out unscathed. But we knew that this was a mere prelude to more brutality that will be inflicted on my family.

The events of yesterday's circus are known to all.

But what was most telling was the deafening silence of the judiciary and the Bar Council, which supposedly are the guardians of justice and equality.

The dinner that was orchestrated by Pak Lah, his Law Minister and other cronies that allegedly ushered 'a new era' for an independent and fearless judiciary in upholding justice and human rights, makes me wonder if such an institution that was promised was a fantasy in light of my experience.

Today, my daughter and I went to the Sungai Buloh Prison to visit my husband but we were told that he had no wish to see anyone, not even any member of the family or lawyers.

I was shocked and disturbed by this turn of events as it can only mean that my husband is determined to endure the pain of incarceration and humiliation of being subjected to and treated like a common criminal for upholding the freedom of speech and justice.

Being married to him for 35 years, I know only too well that he is capable of making sacrifices for truth, justice and freedom. I suspect that when I was told that he did not want to see me, that he would be taking the ultimate step - to go on a hunger strike to demonstrate his determination to uphold the cause of truth and justice.

I have nothing more to say, as I am thoroughly exhausted by the turn of events and can only hope and pray that my fellow citizens, especially wives and mothers out there, that you would all come together to protest and to demand for my beloved husband's freedom and that you will call upon your Member of Parliament to boycott Parliament as a gesture of support for my husband's struggle.

His struggle must not be in vain. We as a family will see this through but we will only be able to cope if we know that good and God-fearing people like you will be there and standing together with us shoulder to shoulder to strike a fatal blow against tyranny and for justice and truth and for my husband's freedom.

Marina Lee

'To sin by silence when we should protest makes cowards of people' - Emily Cox

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