AlJazeera News: Justice sought over Malaysia massacre

Source: AlJazeera English News, 2nd July
A delegation of Malaysian lawyers is trying to convince the UK government to re-open an investigation into the 1948 killing of 24 Malaysian men by the British military in the village of Batang Kali.

The families of the victims say the killings were in cold blood and all these years later are still pushing for a public inquiry.

Al Jazeera’s Laura Kyle reports.


5 Responses

  1. I find it odd that the Chinese in Malaysia seek justice and compensation from Britain when in their own country they are treated as second class citizens and even recently had a Chinese political assistant thrown off the 14th floor of a building, presumably murdered by its Malay government.

    Is it easier to seek justice from Britain because they are fair and ignore the same justice expected of their own Malay government who pay scant attention to such details?

    Eventually it will boil down to credibility. If the Chinese cannot be principled enough to seek justice as citizens of their own country, then surely they should not expect others to reciprocate their own warped sense of justice. Especially if they choose to engage lawyers who have already shown their affliction to their Malay masters….

    You want respect, then you must first respect yourself. It is always a two way process.

  2. Dear Jonathan,

    There are laws and rules for men and women to abide, regardless of where they are.

    In Malaysia, the supreme law, Federal Constitution, has struck a balance between the rights of different communal groups. If any right was infringed, the people of Malaysia will act upon it. Even though there is obstacle, Malaysians will still strive for a better and democratic tomorrow, no matter how long it takes.

    On the other hand, the British soldiers had admitted that there was a killing in cold blood. It is shameful for the British Government to continuously cover up their wrong. Such cover up has direct impact on their present military operation. Their soldiers never learn from their historical wrong. Recent inhumane treatments on innocent Iraqi by British soldiers are just some of the bold examples. The British Government should at least act honorably by setting up an inquiry to find out the truth of the killing took place in Batang Kali 61 years ago.

    Justice has no exprity date. We hope that you could support the course of seeking redress for the surviving families.

    Thanks and Best Wishes,

    Quek Ngee Meng

  3. Dear Quek,

    You have my support. In war I guess, these are collateral massacres that take place. Some are found out, many, especially in the African countries are just buried in the sands of time.

    In retrospect, looking at what’s happening now, Chin Peng and co may have fought a valid war. I have visited Sungai Remok Estate. Those poor Chinese probably didn’t know what hit them. It was over in a few minutes.

    My concern is this. Why an individual action? Especially since the Scots themselves have owned up. Where is the Malaysian government for whom the Scots undoubtedly eventually wanted to save although it was still 1948? This was a period when any allied soldier was nervous considering the atrocities the Japs had committed earlier. But that of course doesn’t give them a reason to be less then professional.

    Templar knew very well this incident was gargantuan mistake, ultimately establishing his “hearts and minds” policy.

    Many countries were upset by the way massacres, bombings, etc had taken place in their countries and all of them right from the UK, USA, Iraq, even Indonesia, Japan, Australia and Thailand came on to support those killed or help their families. But what is greatly disheartening here is, not a word from our BN government. Is it because the victims were Chinese. No one is asking the Malaysian government to fork out money…the villagers themselves were willing to bear the cost. But where is that boost of morale so very evident in so many countries trying to extract their own “terrorists” from Guantanamo.

    The Batang Kali incident is a reflection of the disunity so very evident in this country as a result of racist policies promulgated by this government. We are not safe. We are not one nation. This lawsuit says it all.

    Best Wishes.

  4. One of The British soldiers on the programme, says that “there are different laws in a war,” which there are. The British Army, has done some bad things, over the years, in Aden, Kenya, Malaya, Northern Ireland etc, but if you compare us, to what France did in Algeria, waterboarding, electric shocks, and America in Vietnam, Agent Orange, My Lai, and they`ve never given any compensation, to the Vietnamese, who are born with mental or physical problems, all of a sudden, we don`t seem so awful, do we?

  5. I don’t think it matters if you shoot, poison, gas, burn, drown, electrocute, or torture someone to death. What matters is that they died, and I don’t think you can compare how someone died to decide whether you want to seek justice or not. And yes, it’s still awful to kill in cold blood, no matter how.

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