The Malaysian Chinese Association (MCA) extended its full support here on Thursday to the committee seeking apology and compensation from the British government for the 1948 massacre at Batang Kali in the state of Selangor.
MCA Vice President Liow Tiong Lai told a press conference here that MCA would write to the British High Commission in Malaysia after meeting the surviving families of the Batang Kali massacre.
Batang Kali massacre happened in December 1948 when Malaya was under the British colonial. It was claimed that in a British military operation that year, 24 villagers were shot and fire was set on the village.
A fainted male, presumed death at the scene was the only adultmale who survived the gunshot.
MCA is one of the member parties in the ruling coalition in Malaysia.
Liow said it was the duty of the British High Commissioner to Malaysia to convey the Malaysian public’s view to his government, adding that MCA would also voice its views through the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association.
He also said this was the first time the Action Committee Condemning the Batang Kali Massacre, headed by Quek Jin Teck, approached MCA to seek help and MCA was willing to do so.
The action committee had been compiling information and evidence about the tragedy using their own funding, added Liow.
About 30 people met Liow at the MCA headquarters on Thursday to discuss relevant actions that could be taken on the British government.
Among them was a 78-year-old female. According to a statement issued here, she was a witness of the tragedy and when the incident took place, the British shot the innocents to death without giving any chance for explanation or clarification.
The families also requested a thorough and independent investigation be carried out to find out the truth of the tragedy, added Liow.
Quek Ngee Meng, a counsel representing the surviving families, said in the documents obtained from the British Foreign Affairs Ministry, two important elements were found.
The British Foreign Affairs Ministry admitted that there was some extent of cover-up and political interference in the background investigation of the tragedy carried out in 1970, said Quek.
Quek also said that the British government took it seriously when the action committee submitted a petition in 1993.
While the action committee’s struggle had not come to the legal stage, Quek hoped that the pressure asserted by the public and the media would bear fruits in favor of the survivors.
The 1993 petition was submitted under the assistance of the then MCA Public Service and Complaints Department Head Michael Chong.
Quek said the British was only trying to please MCA politically at that time and it was to be cautious that the British authorities might intentionally drag all efforts to restore the truth.