Relatives of the Batang Kali massacre victims are seeking legal aid in UK to file a legal suit against the UK Government for the brutal crime committed by British Army 60 years ago in Batang Kali, Selangor.
The three remaining eye-witnesses, Tham Yong (age 78, retiree), Loh Ah Choi (age 67, crane operator) and Wong Kum Sooi, (age 71, Telekom tower guard) loss their family members 60 years ago when the British Army shot dead 24 unarmed innocent civilians in Batang Kali.
Quek Ngee Meng, a voluntary lawyer representing 10 victim families for this legal suit says that the legal proceedings will be initiated in UK. A legal firm in UK specialising in human rights and administrative laws has been appointed to file the law suit on behalf of the relatives of the massacre victims. He explains that according to the UK legal firm, this case has sufficient legal merit to proceed because there is good evidence against the atrocity committed by British Army. However, their biggest obstacle is financial constraint for the legal process—which is expected to cost as much as £100,000 to £150,000, which is approximately RM1 million.
In the press conference held in Ulu Yam yesterday, the eye-witnesses assert that they do not have money for the legal process and this will be their last chance to file a legal suit as they are getting old. Tham Yong, wife of the sole survivor and one of the eye-witnesses of the massacre, has been diagnosed with throat cancer and is in critical condition. Stays with her second sons whom have no fixed income and average earning is RM1,000 per month, Tham has to spend at least RM250 on her medical fees every month and has no saving nor assets to depend upon. The other two eye-witnesses Loh and Wong, whose monthly income is just sufficient for their livings, have no savings or assets that can fund the legal suit as well.
A group of volunteers from the local community have been trying to help the relatives of the massacre victims by organsing a dinner to raise fund in June this year. They managed to raise RM25,000 (which is approximately £4,000) and this was definitely far from sufficient in funding the legal case in UK.
Quek says that the relatives of the massacre victims meet the requirements for the application of the UK legal aid in which the family members of the massacre victims have no financial ability to pay for the legal fees. They have applied for the legal aid in UK and are expected to have an outcome by end of this month.