Britain says “No” to Batang Kali heirs
1. Following the petitions submitted by the Action Committee Condemning the Batang Kali Massacre on both 25 March and 12 December 2008, the British High Commissioner, HE Boyd McCleary, being the representative of HM Queen Elizabeth II in Malaysia, has been directed to reply to the petitions on 21 January 2009.
2. The British Government claims that they have carefully considered the petitions and concludes that “in view of the findings of 2 previous investigations that there was insufficient evidence to pursue prosecutions in this case, and in the absence of any new evidence, regrettable we see no reason to reopen or start a fresh investigation.” It is understood that the 2 previous investigation referred to the 1949 and the 1970 investigations.
3. The Action Committee is disappointed and absolutely not convinced with the British Government reply because the latter has not taken into account the inherent unsatisfactory and incomplete nature of the previous 2 investigations. Instead, the British Government has taken into account an irrelevant consideration of pursuing criminal prosecution, which is not intended or demanded by the surviving families of the massacre. Continue reading
Telegraph (15/12/2008) : The Asia File
But, 60 years after the incident that occurred at Batang Kali village, near Kuala Lumpur, on December 11-12, the last surviving witness in Malaysia is once again repeating her call for justice.
77-year-old Tham Yong, who is dying of throat cancer, has spent decades fighting for a full public enquiry, an apology from the British government and compensation. She told AFP that “after so much time, it still hurts me every time I talk about it, I remember it just like yesterday”.
“I’m still angry because these were innocent persons but labelled as bandits and communists, when all they were doing was collecting durians and not supplying food to the communists,” she said. “My advanced cancer means I will not around much longer, but I hope people remember what happened here so that those who were killed here are never forgotten.”
A group of politicians and activists, which is continuing the campaign for justice, delivered a note to the British High Commission in Kuala Lumpur last week, calling on the British government to close the matter once and for all by holding a public enquiry. But the government has in the past always resisted such requests.
Like so many similar incidents, the exact details of what happened at the village of Batang Kali on those two days are clouded by the fog of war and remain sketchy. Perhaps the best recent account is contained in the excellent Forgotten Wars by Christopher Bayly and Tim Harper (who I studied under at university). Originally it was claimed that the men, who were rubber tappers suspected of helping supply communist insurgents, had been shot while trying to run away. Continue reading
“After so much time, it still hurts me every time I talk about it, I remember it just like yesterday,” she says, tears streaming down her cheeks as she recounts the slaying of 24 unarmed villagers by Scots Guards troops.
The 77-year-old former rubber tapper has spent decades fighting for compensation over the terrible events in the village of Batang Kali on December 11 and 12, 1948.
But as she succumbs to throat cancer, the campaign is being taken up by a new generation of activists and politicians who have demanded an apology from Britain and 80 million pounds (149 million dollars) in compensation.
The leader of the campaign, 40-year-old lawyer Quek Ngee Meng — whose father lives in Batang Kali — marched with a small band of supporters to the British High Commission on Friday to mark the 60th anniversary of the event.
The group presented a memorandum condemning the massacre to High Commissioner Boyd McCleary, who came out to the embassy gates to meet with the protesters.
“We are asking for a proper public enquiry to be held… I think it’s a fair request,” Quek told AFP.
“Let us show our evidence and if we have proven our case, then meet our demands. If the outcome favours the British government, then we will stop this protest,” he said. Continue reading
New Straits Times ( 2008/12/13)
KUALA LUMPUR: A group of 100 people handed a petition calling for justice over the Batang Kali massacre to British High Commissioner Boyd McCleary, here yesterday. The Action Committee Condemning the Batang Kali Massacre head of signature, Quek Ngee Meng, said the petition was timed to coincide with the incident’s 60th anniversary yesterday.
“The petition is a follow-up to an earlier one we sent to the British High Commission on March 25, where no action was taken by the British government,” said Quek.
The group, consisting of families of the victims and members of several non-governmental organisations spent about half an hour outside the British High Commission in Jalan Ampang at 10.30am.
They were later met by McCleary who personally accepted their petition under the watchful eyes of some 100 Federal Reserve Unit officers. Continue reading
工委会义务律师团召集人郭义民律师指出，手头上有证据及目击证人，可证明当年那批被杀害的居民，都是手无寸铁的平民百姓，绝非英国政府宣称的恶匪。 Continue reading