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Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Batang Kali British Massacre Victims have a legal respite

Families of Batang Kali massacre victims finally have legal respite

KUALA LUMPUR: Descendants and families of the 24 civilians who died in the “Batang Kali massacre” of 1948 during British rule finally have a legal respite.

In an unprecedented breakthrough, the families, through their lawyers, will get a chance to argue their case in the British High Court next week.

We want the British government to clear the names of the families. -Tan Hai Kee
The judicial review test case on the alleged brutal killings of the unarmed rubber tappers by British soldiers has been fixed for Tuesday and Wednesday.

Action Committee Condemning the Batang Kali Massacre adviser and founder Tan Hai Kee said the hearing would be fully funded by British taxpayers.

“It will be a significant breakthrough for Malaysian civilians and NGOs in challenging the British Government's decision.

“We want the British government to clear the names of the families, as the tappers were branded as bandits and communist insurgents,” he said after a briefing and prayer ceremony at the Kuala Lumpur and Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall yesterday.

On Dec 12, 1948, about a dozen elite Scots Guards went into a village in Batang Kali and separated women and children from the men. They then allegedly executed all but one of the men who pretended to be dead.

Some of the bodies were later decapitated and their genitals smashed. The Guardsmen claimed the victims were armed and tried to escape but the committee countered that this was a cover-up.

The committee submitted a petition to the British government twice, first in March 2008 via the High Commission and another in November 2010 addressed to Queen Elizabeth II.

The first petition sought an apology and compensation of £80mil (RM393mil) but Tan said monetary gain was not the main issue.


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