KUALA LUMPUR (April 29, 2009): Survivors and descendants of 24 tappers killed by the British Army in Batang Kali in 1948 are urging the British government for a speedy resolution to the massacre issue.
Lawyer Quek Ngee Meng, representating the Action Committee Condemning the Batang Kali Massacre, told a press conference today that the British Secretary of State had informed them on April 24 that it was reconsidering its earlier decision not to hold an inquiry and requested for a few months to decide.
“This request was not accepted by the oldest survivor Tham Yong and the committee. Justice delayed is justice denied,” he said.
Lawyer Firoz Hussein, who was also present, said that the committee was only seeking justice for the 24 killed.
“What we are trying to do is to ensure that a public enquiry is held in England because a full inquiry or investigation into the circumstances surrounding the deaths of these people was never held. We are also asking for reparations to be paid on the basis of international humanitarian law,” he said.
“The British government realises that the claim is not wholly without merit, and must be given serious consideration,” he said.
“We have a problem, and that is how long will they take to look into this matter. Many of the families of the victims are not young, and one of the eyewitnesses who was 11 years old at the time passed away last Friday,” he said.
“Time is not on our side. There is an urgency to achieve justice,” he said, adding that there was considerable evidence to prove the event took place.
The “Batang Kali massacre” occurred in a village in Selangor on Dec. 12, 1948, when 14 members of the Scots Guards killed 24 unarmed villagers and torched their village.
Meanwhile, MCA Public Services and Complaints Department Head Datuk Michael Chong, who waspresent, said he was happy with the headway made.
“I am glad the younger generation is taking on the cause with much greater success than we’ve had so far. We will continue to do all we can to seek justice for the families involved,” added Chong.