Condolence Statement from Ambassador Joseph Y. Yun on the Death of Dr. Irene Fernandez

On behalf of the staff of the U.S. Embassy in Malaysia, I would like to express how sorry we all were to hear the news about the passing of Dr. Irene Fernandez.  Our deepest condolences to Irene’s family and her many friends.  Irene was a remarkable person and we were all privileged to know her.  People throughout Malaysia and around the world had great respect for her long record of fighting on behalf of the poor and marginalized.  In recognition of her tireless efforts, the U.S. Embassy nominated Irene last year for the U.S. State Department’s International Women of Courage Award recognizing her advocacy for the rights of women, migrant workers, and AIDS victims in Malaysia.  A few years earlier, the State Department acknowledged Irene as one of ten leading activists around the world working to end modern-day slavery.  The United States Government could not have found a better person to honor.  We were all moved by her conviction and her contribution to promoting respect for human rights in Malaysia.  We will all truly miss Irene’s passion, dedication and, above all, her friendship.