By Neville Spykerman
Family members of those killed in the Batang Kali Massacre called on the British Government today to declassify a crucial investigation report to ensure justice for the victims.
Lawyer Quek Ngee Meng, who represents the families, wants full access to a 1970 investigation report by Detective Chief Superintended Frank William who was tasked with investigating the massacre of 24 unarmed villagers by British troops at the height of the communist insurgency in 1948.
On August 21, the British Ministry of Defence and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office issued a provisional decision to reject reopening the case.
According to Quek, the provisional decision left open a window for them to make further representations for an official probe.
“But we require a full disclosure of Frank William’s report to make the representation.”
Lawyers, representing the Action Committee Condemning the Batang Kali Massacre, have been allowed to view the documents at Scotland Yard in the United Kingdom but had to take an oath of secrecy and were not allowed to make copies.
Quek lashed out at the UK government for what he described as a delaying tactic.
“Witnesses of the massacre are dying as the matter drags on while the provisional decision prevents us from seeking a judicial review in UK courts.” he said.
Family members of victims and supporters gathered outside the British High Commission this morning to commemorate the 61st anniversary of the massacre.
Armed with banners, the 30-strong crowd gathered to pray for 20 minutes under the watchful eye of police. Quek vowed that they would continue gathering each year until justice was done.
The Batang Kali victims were rounded up by Scots Guards before they were shot and killed. The British government has never acknowledged the killings as a massacre, despite eyewitness accounts, including from surviving members of the Scots Guards.
"Tiada maaf bagi mu, British!" At least the CPM had the dignity to acknowledged and apologised to those whose kins (innocent civillians) were killed during that time. So now, shall we deny entry to the country to the British as well? Afterall, they massacred local residents of Malaya. If the British government had never acknowledge the massacre as one, what do they describe it as? Collateral damage? Ha ha!
Is the government of Malaysia doing anything to help the families of the victims to seek justice from the British? Or are they on their high horses with arms folded, see nothing, hear nothing, say nothing? Is that a wise thing to do? I doubt it. As I see it, the British are still 'colonising' Malaysia, come rain or shine!