No inquiry into UK 'massacre' of Malaysians

2012-09-04 17:18

London - Relatives of 24 Malaysian rubber plantation workers killed by British troops in 1948 on Tuesday lost their High Court battle for a full inquiry by the British government.

Britain said last November it would not hold a formal probe into the Batang Kali killings in British-controlled Malaya, but the families' lawyers claim there is enough evidence to justify an independent inquiry.

British soldiers surrounded the Sungai Rimoh rubber estate in Batang Kali on 12 December 1948, shot the 24 workers and set the village on fire, London's High Court heard.

The incident, which has been referred to as "Britain's My Lai" after the infamous Vietnam War massacre, happened during the so-called Malayan Emergency, when British troops conducted military operations against communist insurgents.

The court heard that Britain's 1964-1970 Labour government had launched a police investigation into the deaths, but the incoming Conservative administration dropped it in 1970, claiming a lack of evidence.

The current British government argued that the decision not to hold an inquiry was reached lawfully.


"There are no grounds for disturbing their conclusion," Judge John Thomas said on Tuesday.

But lawyers for the victims' families claim that statements given by soldiers to the original investigation showed they admitted unlawful killing.

"We are appealing," said John Halford, a solicitor representing the families. "As long as the injustice remains, the families will be pursuing legal action."

A relative of one of the victims of the killings said he was disappointed by the judge's decision.

"I am disappointed with the finding that no inquiry is required," said Chong Koon Ying - whose father Chong Voon was killed - in a statement released by lawyers.

"The truth has not been fully revealed."

The families hope an investigation could lead to an apology and reparations.

  • alex.nkosi.39 - 2012-09-04 18:32

    There is enough evidence in this case, so what are the colonists and capitalists waiting for, pay a compensation to the victoms families

      patrick.saunders123 - 2012-09-04 18:57

      since you are neither british nor malaysian maybe you should just stfu.

      alex.nkosi.39 - 2012-09-04 19:15

      Oooh yes patrick, your name sounds like some one whose grandfathers were righteous idiots, just because they were unaware of that one day their horror massacre will be brought into justice. Damn idiots

      piet.strydom - 2012-09-04 20:13

      You are right Alex, Europeans committed great atrocities. Why do you not stop the cycle, and not be so aggressive. Show the Umlungus the spirit of Ubuntu, show then that you are more mature than what they are.

      patrick.saunders123 - 2012-09-04 20:26

      ooh yes alex, you sound like one of those career victims going through life wanting compensation for everything. Try working for a living, it's more rewarding.

      tommo.too - 2012-09-05 00:17

      My forfathers came from England to SA in the 1800s. I support Alex completely. The evidence should not be covered up and the families should be compensated. The British government should also appologise.

      fidel.mgoqi - 2012-09-05 08:25

      @Quick Your great great grand father was trespassing, as his cousins were doing in Malaysia, Kenya (Mau Mau),etc.. If Jews were able to claim up until recently billions from Germany for their dispossession, so can other countries, including the Palestinians who were chased away from their homes by Menachem Begin and his terrorist thugs.

      alfred.karius - 2012-09-05 08:34

      @QuickQuirky its apparent that you do not make the distinction between soldiers killed in a battle and plantation workers surrounded and massacred and their village burnt to the ground.

  • les.cunningham1 - 2012-09-04 20:29

    64 years ago !!! WTF !!!!!!!!!

  • DSBennie - 2012-09-05 09:28

    These countries wanted to be independent, part of that independence is the fact that they are a continuation of the colonial government and are thus themselves responsible to pay the "victims"

      fidel.mgoqi - 2012-09-05 09:31

      So they shouldn't have "asked" for independence? You are stating this as if the colonialist were doing these countries a favour by granting them independence.

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