BBC Video: In Cold Blood

This is 20-minute summary of the original 40-minute documentary “In Cold Blood” by BBC, first released in 1992. 

The documentary contains valuable and significant information as it interviewed the key persons involved in the Batang Kali Massacre happened on 12/12/1948. These people included the witnesses (most had passed away), sole survivor (passed away in April 2008) and the British armies involved.


5 Responses

  1. I came to know about this evil act done by British soldiers a few years ago…. yes the the older generations, especially those who witnessed the massacre have passed away. However, younger generations like me will remember and tell others about this brutal act. You are doing a good job. Malaysians must remember and the British must be reminded.

  2. HUMAN right Org May can help.

  3. This is an urgent task. I will volunteer to support the campaign.

    Pl contact me soon.

  4. Records of colonial crimes destroyed
    Nearly 9,000 files from 37 former British colonies that survived a purgeof reports about the torture and murders ofdissidents will be released
    The Guardian in London
    Apr 19, 2012

    Thousands of documents detailing some of the most shameful acts and crimes committed during the final years of the British empire were systematically destroyed to prevent them from falling into the hands of post-independence governments, an official review has concluded.
    Those papers that survived the purge were flown discreetly to Britain, where they were hidden for 50 years in a secret Foreign Office archive, beyond the reach of historians and members of the public and in breach of legal obligations for them to be put into the public domain.

    The archive came to light last year when a group of Kenyans detained and allegedly tortured during the Mau Mau rebellion won the right to sue the British government. The Foreign Office promised to release the 8,800 files from 37 former colonies held at the highly secure government communications centre at Hanslope Park in Buckinghamshire, near London.

    The historian appointed to oversee the review and transfer, Tony Badger, master of Clare College, Cambridge, says the discovery of the archive put the Foreign Office in an “embarrassing, scandalous” position. “These documents should have been in the public archives in the 1980s,” he said. “It’s long overdue.”

    The first of them were made available to the public yesterday at the National Archive at Kew, southwest London.

    The papers at Hanslope Park include monthly intelligence reports on the “elimination” of the colonial authority’s enemies in 1950s Malaya; records showing ministers in London were aware of the torture and murder of Mau Mau insurgents in Kenya, including a case of a man said to have been “roasted alive”; and papers detailing the lengths to which Britain went to forcibly remove islanders from Diego Garcia in the Indian Ocean.

    However, among the documents are a handful which show that many of the most sensitive papers from Britain’s late colonial era were not hidden away, but simply destroyed.

    These papers give the instructions for systematic destruction issued in 1961 after Iain Macleod, secretary of state for the colonies, directed that post-independence governments should not get any material that “might embarrass Her Majesty’s government”, that could “embarrass members of the police, military forces, public servants or others [for example] police informers”, that might compromise intelligence sources, or that might “be used unethically by ministers in the successor government”.

    Among the documents that appear to have been destroyed were: records of the abuse of Mau Mau insurgents detained by British colonial authorities, who were tortured and sometimes murdered; reports that may have detailed the alleged massacre of 24 unarmed villagers in Malaya by Scots Guards in 1948; and sensitive documents kept by authorities in Aden, where the army’s Intelligence Corps operated a secret torture centre for several years in the 1960s.

    The documents that were not destroyed appear to have been kept secret not only to protect Britain’s reputation, but to shield the government from litigation. If the Mau Mau detainees are successful in their legal action, thousands more veterans are expected to follow.

    The documents show colonial officials were instructed to separate those papers to be left in place after independence – usually known as “Legacy files”- from those that were to be selected for destruction or removal to Britain.

    • In 1963 as a postgraduate, l was the field supervisor of the Universiti Malaya-Geography survey on rubber smallholders based in Rasah village off the KL-Ipoh trunk road in north Selangor. This was published in 1966 in the academic journal ‘Pacific Viewpoint’.
      We were not told of the Batang Kali “massacre”, not even by the villagers there. So adept were the various British authorities in the cover-up of this atrocity that l only came to know of it almost three decades afterwards, when ‘In Cold Blood’ was shown on BBC tv.

      l make amends for my ignorance in my article “Batang Kali & the New Villagers of Malaysia” – Hundreds of North Americans & Britons, a few in Russia, Poland & Western Europe, but barely a hundred in Malaysia & ASEAN have read it (l don’t understand the paucity of the last audience!).
      By the end of this year l hope to find & present pictures l took
      of the Rasah villagers in that survey, to let us all have a good idea of the diligent life the innocent Batang Kali victims & their families must have lead and what would have been their peaceful village life, had the British Army not executed all their menfolk (except for one survivor) and burnt down the entire village, so that even the survivors also became completely destitute.

      Indeed, in our myriad ways, we should do our bit never to let this war-crime be forgotten or left unresolved according to the British whim & wish – just as already late last year, even the Germans themselves are investigating a similar WW2 massacre, in the French village of Oradour-sur-Glane, so as to make amends and, not least, to bring their own mass-murderers to justice.
      Dr TAN Koonlin, London.

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