Activist Irene Fernandez dies


She was hospitalised five days ago after suffering from a heart complication

K Pragalath, FMT

PKR’s former vice president and famous activist Irene Fernandez passed away at 10.58am this morning due to heart failure.

Fernandez was a PKR vice-president during the initial years of the party’s foundation.

The 67-year-old social activist was also Tenaganita’s co-founder and director. Tenaganita is an NGO that champions migrant worker rights.

Five days ago, Fernandez who lived in Seremban, was rushed to Serdang Hospital after suffering from heart complication.

PKR vice-president Tian Chua was among the first to confirm the news.

“Sad news: rights activist Irene Fernandez passed away in Serdang Hospital a while ago. We have lost a dear comrade & old friend,” he tweeted.

A message posted in Tenaganita’s Facebook stated: “Irene’s beautiful, courageous & loving heart rested peacefully at 10.58am this morning, 31st March 2014.”

Irene’s sister, Josie told FMT that Irene’s body would be taken back to her home in Seremban today.

“And then on Thursday, we will be bringing her to her other residence at 29, Jalan SS15/5E (in Subang) and then to a church from there,” said Josie who is also an activist.

The family has not confirmed the church where the funeral services would be held.

“Her body would be cremated as per her wishes after the church service and the ashes would be buried next to our parents’ grave in Sungai Petani,” Josie added.

Josie said Irene, who leaves behind a son and two daughters, would be remembered as a “good mother, great daughter, great sister and an activist par excellence”.