Britain to state stand on Batang Kali

KUALA LUMPUR: The British government will announce on Aug 14 its position on the outstanding issue of the Batang Kali massacre.

For the past 60 years, the British government has rejected demands for investigations into the killings, most recently on Jan 21 this year, without giving full reasons.

Then on April 27, it withdrew the rejection.

“The most crucial aspects of why they are reconsidering the claim is because of certain developments in English law and also (more recent) investigations into what happened in Batang Kali,” said lawyer Firoz Hussein, who is representing the families of those killed, at a press conference here yesterday.

According to Hussein, earlier decisions to reject investigations or not to give reparation were based on investigations conducted previously.

He added that it had recently come to light that no complete investigations had been made at all since 1948.

On July 3 this year, Hussein and two other Malaysian lawyers met the British Ministry of Defence to discuss various aspects of the issue.

New evidence was also submitted to the ministry’s reconsideration committee, led by Jonathan Duke-Evans.

The new evidence was based on an extensive four-year research by former war correspondent Ian Ward and his wife Norma Miraflor for their new book Slaughter and Deception at Batang Kali.

“All our evidence is with the British government.

“It is their move now,” said Quek Ngee Meng, another lawyer representing the families of those killed.

Action Committee Condemning the Batang Kali Massacre chairman Quek Jin Teck said he was happy the British government was now willing to listen to them.

Source: The Star, July 13


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