I remember meeting Marina the first time, this was after the Permatang Pauh elections and Malaysia-Today had just been banned. It started out at the fishing place, sitting next to RPK, feeling mighty conscious of what I wanted to say, hoping I didn't spur rubbish and make myself look stupid. As the night moved on, and as everyone was mingling, I remember striking up a conversation with Marina and feeling extremely at ease.
Here was a woman I really admired; you could see the care and love she felt for her husband just by the way she talked about him. I guess it was easy considering both of them share the same aspirations and ideals.
The next time I saw her, was in a totally different scenario. No more party and drinks. RPK had been arrested under the ISA. We were at the Bukit Aman vigil. As Marina stepped out of the car to light a candle, I gave her a hug. Words failed me, what could I say to make her feel better? Words like we're here for you and I'm so sorry for what happened ran through my mind, but I did not feel right uttering those words because how do you say you empathize with a woman whose husband has just been arrested under a draconian law when you've never been through it before?
The third time I met her, was during the vigil opposite Amcorp Mall, the 12th of October. I hugged her, and again I didn't know what to say. As she saw me struggling for words, she said 'don't worry, we'll get through this'.I laughed and told her, these words are what I should be saying to you.
Words failed me that night, now I want to say what I should have said: Marina, don't worry we'll get through this. Justice is a long and hard struggle, but the day when justice is done, the struggle makes it ever so much more meaningful and worthwhile. We will never give up or forget RPK, because we can never forget a man who has given up his liberty in fighting for the rakyat. And we will also never forget the strong, resilient woman who has stood silently by his side, urging him to do what is right.