German Press Report on Batang Kali Massacre Petition

batang-kali-12-12-08

Courtesy of Alois Leinweber

Sixty years on, last witness to British massacre in Malaysia speaks out

Telegraph (15/12/2008) : The Asia File

by Ben Bland

The Batang Kali massacre, in which 24 unarmed Chinese villagers were gunned down by Scots Guards in extremely questionable circumstances at the height of the Malayan Emergency in 1948, has been largely forgotten in Britain. It has never attracted the level of coverage accorded to the American outrages carried out at My Lai, Vietnam in 1968 and Haditha, Iraq in 2005.

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

Malaysia’s Last Witness to 1948 Massacre Calls for Justice

Protesters campaign in front of the British High Commission in Kuala Lumpur to condemn the historic Batang Kali massacre

Protesters campaign in front of the British High Commission in Kuala Lumpur to condemn the historic Batang Kali massacreCampaigners lay white flowers at the British High Commission in Kuala Lumpur to mark the historic Batang Kali massacre

 

Campaigners lay white flowers at the British High Commission in Kuala Lumpur to mark the historic Batang Kali massacre

Campaigners lay white flowers at the British High Commission in Kuala Lumpur to mark the historic Batang Kali massacre

BATANG KALI, Malaysia (AFP) — Tham Yong is elderly and infirm, but the sole living survivor of Malaysia’s 1948 Batang Kali massacre says she still vividly remembers what she calls “the day the British killed our men”.

“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

Petition handed to British envoy

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

Photos of 12 Dec 08-Submit Memorandum at British High Comm, Jln Ampang

 
In front of British High Commmission
Campaigners protest in front of the British High Commission  in Kuala Lumpur to condemn the historic Batang Kali massacre (AFP photo)

Pay respect to massacre victims in front of British High Comm

Pay respect to massacre victims in front of British High Comm

 

Ceremony in front of British High Comm
Ceremony in front of British High Comm (AFP Photo)

呈交英女皇请愿书-提呈全国逾5百份社团签名盖章的“支持追讨英军60年前屠杀平民冤案”

20081212

 

英国伊丽莎白二世女皇陛下

(由英国最高专员署代交)

 

尊敬的英女皇陛下:

 

提呈全国逾5百份社团签名盖章的“支持追讨英军60年前屠杀平民冤案”

请愿书暨跟进今年325日所提呈的请愿书

 

(一)我们于今年325日提呈一份关于英国军人在19481212日在峇冬加里屠杀24名乌鲁音村民的请愿书(简称“请愿书”)。

 

请愿书恳求英女皇陛下谕示英国政府向峇冬加里屠杀案的殉难者家属与当地华社正式道歉与赔偿。这项请愿至今已逾8个月,却未获得任何回覆。

 

为了让这个冤案得以伸张,13名殉难者的家属经已指示英国知名公共法与人权法律师事务所 Bindmans LLP采取相关法律行动。Bindmans LLP律师事务所在月前致函英国外交与共和联邦办公室 (Foreign and Commonwealth Office)询问请愿书的处理状况以及有关当局可能采取的任何调查行动。同样地,至今未得到任何回覆。

 

60年来,这个冤案的真相追踪,屡次的被有心人掩盖与按压。1949年,有关当局对此事矢口否认;1970年仓促中断进行中的真相调查,以及直到今天,英国政府对请愿诉求采取缄默的消极态度。对此我们深感愤慨与不满,历史的真相与事实,虽岁月荏苒,却是无法否认与磨灭。 Continue reading

Memorandum-Penghantaran surat sokongan daripada pertubuhan-pertubuhan bukan kerajaan di Malaysia mengutuk pembunuhan kejam di Batang Kali

12 Disember 2008

 

YANG AMAT MULIA RATU UNITED KINGDOM,  RATU ELIZABETH II,

Beralamat:  Suruhanjaya Tinggi British,

185, Jalan Ampang,

50450 Kuala Lumpur

 

Penghantaran surat sokongan daripada pertubuhan-pertubuhan bukan kerajaan di Malaysia mengutuk pembunuhan kejam di Batang Kali

dan

Susulan kepada Petisyen bertarikh 25 Mac 2008 yang disampaikan oleh Jawatankuasa Bertindak Mengutuk Pembunuhan kejam di Batang Kali.

 

Semoga Mendapat Perhatian Ratu United Kingdom,

 

1.        Pada 25 Mac 2008, kami telah menghantar petisyen berkenaan berhubung dengan tindakan askar-askar British yang membunuh secara kejam 24 orang penduduk kampung Ulu Yam yang tidak bersenjata dan membakar estet mereka di Batang Kali pada 12 Disember 1948. (Pembunuhan kejam ini lebih dikenal sabagai “Pembunuhan Kejam Batang Kali.”)

 

                          Dalam petisyen tersebut, kami memohon jasa baik Ratu England untuk mendesak kerajaan United Kingdom untuk mengemukakan permohonan maaf secara rasmi dan membayar pampasan setimpalnya kepada ahli-ahli keluarga mangsa pembunuhan kejam ini dan penduduk setempat Ulu Yam. Kini selepas sembilan bulan berlalu,  kami masih belum mendapat sebarang maklum balas daripada  Ratu Elizabeth II mahupun Suruhanjaya Tinggi British.

 

                          Dalam usaha untuk membetulkan ketidakadilan sejarah ini, ahli-ahli keluarga dari kalangan 13 mangsa pembunuhan yang masih hidup telah mengarahkan peguambela terkemuka dalam bidang hak asasi manusia awam, Bindmans LLP, untuk menegakkan keadilan bagi pihak mereka, jika perlu. Tetuan Bindmans telah menulis surat kepada Pejabat Komanwel dan Luar Negara untuk meminta penjelasan mengenai apakah pertimbangan-pertimbangan yang akan diberikan kepada petisyen itu, siapakah yang dipertanggungjawabkan untuk berurusan mengenai perkara tersebut serta apakah akan ada pengumuman atau reaksi rasmi daripada pihak yang dimaksudkan. Mereka turut bertanyakan sama ada pertimbangan sedang diberikan kepada sebarang bentuk penyiasatan terhadap insiden dan sebarang perkara yang berkaitan dengan pembunuhan Batang Kali itu. Bagaimanapun, hingga ke hari ini, tiada sebarang penjelasan konkrit yang diberikan.

                            Continue reading