Batang Kali Massacre 1948
December 01, 2010 19:41 PM
British High Commissioner To Raise Batang Kali Massacre With London
KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 1 (Bernama) — The new British high commissioner to Malaysia has promised to bring to the attention of his government on the issue of the Batang Kali massacre victims.
Simon Featherstone said he had the opportunity to hear first-hand from members of the Batang Kali Action Group during a meeting with them here Wednesday.
“I well understand that this issue arouses strong emotions among those associated with events at Batang Kali. I will faithfully convey their views to the British Government,” he said in a statement here.
Also present at the meeting was Federation of Chinese Associations Malaysia president Datuk Pheng Yin Huah.
Featherstone said, since assuming the post two months ago, he was impressed by the depth and range of the relations between Malaysia and Britain.
“It is gratifying to know that the bilateral relationship is so strong and continues to flourish,” he said.
The Batang Kali massacre took place on Dec 12, 1948 during British military operations against communist terrorists after the end of World War II.
It was alleged that the Seventh Platoon of the G Company, 2nd Scots Guards, had surrounded a rubber estate at Sungai Rimoh and shot 24 villagers before setting fire to the village.
In January, last year, the British Foreign Office rejected a call for an inquiry but three months later, it was reported that the government was re-considering the decision.
On April 2, this year, the last witness of the Batang Kali massacre, Tham Yong, 78, died.
Batang Kali Massacre – 24 innocent lives
– while debating the 2003 Supplementary Estimates
by MKula Segara
(Dewan Rakyat, Wednesday): Yesterday, the Batang Kali residents organized a dialogue with the DAP MP’ together with the Selangor DAP, headed by Sdr. Ronnie Liu. It was well attended by the locals and in the meeting the discussion was exclusively on the issue of the massacre of 24 men who were killed by the Scots Guards in December1948.
From records available and confirmed by the Batang Kali folks we are told that on 11th December1948 at about 5pm British soldiers entered the Batang Kali village and interrogation began and continued until late night. Then at about 6pm one Loo Kwei Nam was shot dead by soldiers. At 7pm on the same day women and children were separated and locked up in different kongsi houses. On 12th December women and children were taken away on a lorry. Women and children in lorry saw soldiers shooting the 24 men near the river. Thereafter the village was set on fire.
On January1st1949, an official investigation was carried out on the instructions of the then Attorney General Sir Stafford Foster-Sutton. The out come of the investigation was that the Attorney General mentioned that he was satisfied that “the suspects(the 24 men) would have made good their escape had the security forces not opened fire”. Unfortunately this investigations were never made public or sent to the war office. In the War of the running dogs author Noel Baber says “a bona fide mistake had been made”
In 1970 the British government ordered fresh investigations on the massacre after it was highlighted in the media. The investigations were led by Chief Sup.Frank Williams ( who had investigated into the Great Train Robbery). Williams had sworn testimonies from some of the Scot’s guardsman who confessed that “one of the sergeants gave the order to shoot, I fired my rifle at the people at the river bank” “the villagers were unarmed; they were not running away” Williams was leaving to Malaysia to continue his investigations when with the change of a new government (Conservatives now) all further investigations were cancelled. It was officially mentioned that “there was no reasonable likelihood of obtaining sufficient evidence to warrant prosecution” On the contrary Williams team had made it known by then that they were able to gather evidence to prove that the villagers were killed without reason and they were not trying to escape as claimed by the British.
In 1993 the then IGP Tan Sri Hanif Omar encouraged the victims to lodge reports as he said there was “no time frame to lodge police reports especially on matters pertaining to murder”. With this encouragement on 14th July 1993 three of the persons who have information of the cold blooded murder made police reports. A high level police team was set up to investigate this massacre. Also the victims on the advice of the MCA presented a petition to the High Commissioner of the UK which was to be forwarded to Queen Elizabeth to order the reopening of this matter. What has come out of this is still any ones guess.
Two witnesses Madam Foo Moi 87, Madam Tham Yong 73 and sole survivor Chong Foong 75 made police reports and were interrogated by the police. What has happen to the police investigations? Why has it taking the police more then 11 years for a decision to be made on the massacre? The guilty Scots Guards should be brought to justice the soonest possible.
The BBC in 1992 in its documentary “in cold blood” exposed evidence that the British soldiers who were involved in this massacre had actually confessed to the cold blooded murder. In fact the tragedy of Batang Kali is similar to the famous war crime of My Lai which happened in Vietnam in 1968 where the whole village was massacred by the Americans.
The only living three witlessness of this massacre are very old and frail. One of them is on a wheel chair, one is cancer stricken and the final one is having hearing problems.
It is pertinent and urgent for the Malaysian Police to reopen this investigation and clean up the wrong done to the village folks of Batang Kali. The truth must be made public. In fact the government should compensate this victims. The delay since 1993 in the police investigations is most unfortunate. The delay is a permanent scar waiting an over due correction.
The people of Batang Kali must be cleared of all wrong doings without any further delay.
To: Her Majesty the Queen of The UKTo:
Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II,
A Petition to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II
Brutal Massacre of 24 Ulu Yam Villagers
At Batang Kali, State of Selangor,
Malaysia (then known as Malaya)
by the British Army
On the 12th day of December 1948
May it please Your Majesty,
1. We the undersigned your Humble Petitioners, place a high expectation on the good conscience and magnanimity of the people of the UK and Your Majesty. We write to seek for Your Majesty’s kindness to use your vast influence to cause the UK government to issue an official apology and grant reasonable compensation to the Chinese community at Ulu Yam, Malaysia (then known as Malaya) and the family members and descendants of the massacre victims. We hereby set out the factual matrix of the incident:-
1.1 On the 12th day of December 1948, about 60 years ago from the present day, a troop of British army of Scottish origin (Scots Guards) detained 25 Ulu Yam villagers of Chinese origin at Batang Kali. These villagers were all unarmed innocent commoners with no intention to resist the detention. However, all the villagers were shot by the British army without any due investigation or being rightfully heard. All of them were killed except one who is still alive today. The barbaric and brutal murder committed by the British army was concealed by the then British colonial government, no one was prosecuted or investigated on account of the brutal massacre.
1.2 In February of 1970, an English newspaper exposed the incident and condemned the brutal massacre. In response to the newspapers’ report, the then Defence Secretary, Mr. Dennis Healy, instructed Scotland Yard to set up a special task team led by Mr. Frank Williams to investigate into the matter. As a result of the investigation, concrete evidence was gathered which shows that the brutal massacre at Batang Kali in December 1948 indeed took place.
1.3 In 1992, BBC broadcasted a series of documentary, unveiling the long- concealed truth of Batang Kali massacre to the people of the UK
and to the world. We was hoping that with the publicity of the documentary the three- generational injustice, agony and nightmare to
the family members and descendants of the victims could finally come to an end, however, nothing was done by the UK government thereafter.
2. We would like to state that successive British Government have failed to make amends for this historic injustice to the people of Ulu Yam, Malaysia.
3. OUR DEMANDS AND PROPOSALS
3.1 As it is now evidently clear that the massacres was committed. The crimes of the past should not be forgotten. We shall do all things within our powers to rectify the injustice. We opine that the UK government should take full responsibility of the incident.
3.2 We humbly petition to Your Majesty to kindly use your vast influence to urge the UK government to take immediate steps to redress grievances and do justice to the Chinese Community at Ulu Yam and the family members and descendants of the massacre victims.
3.3 We humbly appeal to the good conscience and magnanimity of the people of the UK and Your Majesty to realise our demands, that is:-
a) To appoint an official to publicly apologise to the Chinese Community at Ulu Yam, the family members and descendants of the massacre victims and the survivor of the Massacre;
b) To grant a reasonable compensation in the sum of Eighty Million Sterling Pound (₤80,000,000.00) only,
i) ₤30,000,000.00 to be paid to the family members and descendants of the massacre victims (25 households); and
ii) ₤50,000,000.00 to the Chinese Community at Ulu Yam for the purposes of educational and cultural development.
We sincerely hope that Your Majesty would consider our proposals, and bring this shameful and sadden chapter of the past to a close.
c.c. The Honorable Prime Minister of the United Kingdom