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10,000 postcards demanding apology

June 19, 2013

Families of victims and supporters of the Batang Kali massacre in 1948 want ‘closure’ from the British government, which is reportedly reconsidering an earlier decision not to hold an inquiry.

KUALA LUMPUR:  A total of 10,000 postcards signed by Malaysians wanting the British Government to make an official apology on the unlawful killing of 24 villagers in Batang Kali in 1948 by British soldiers, were handed over to the British High Commission here yesterday.

Britain’s High Commissioner to Malaysia Simon Featherstone received the postcards from Gabungan Bertindak Malaysia (GBM) chairman Tan Yew Sing and Action Committee Condemning Batang Kali Massacre coordinator Quek Ngee Meng.

The postcard project is a joint effort between the two non-governmental organizations and is aimed at raising awareness among Malaysians on the British Government’s position on this issue.

The project, which kicked of last December, invited Malaysians to express their concern through the signature campaign.

The Batang Kali massacre took place on Dec 12, 1948 during British military operations against communist terrorists after the end of World War II, and it was alleged that the 7th Platoon of G Company, 2nd Scots Guards, had surrounded a rubber estate at Sungai Rimoh and shot dead 24 villagers before setting fire to the village.

In January 2009, 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.

In September 2012, the London High Court upheld the British government’s decision not to hold a public inquiry into the killing of the 24 Batang Kali civilians more than 60 years ago.

Speaking to reporters later, Tan said Featherstone had expressed his sympathy over the Batang Kali massacre, and promised to convey Malaysians’ concern to his government.

“We (committee members) were impressed by his (Featherstone) effort and we are serious and very persistent on this issue because justice needs to be upheld for the future and good relationship of the two countries to move forward.

“We hope the British Government will close this chapter by giving an official apology, and compensation  to the families, and they must be prepared to discuss and settle the matter out of court,” he said.

Meanwhile, one of the victims’ family member, Lim Kok, said the apology would at least help to ease the misery that he felt until now when his father, Lim Tian Swee was slaughtered in the incident.

“I really hope the British Goverment will give us a sincere apology on this matter and some compensation for all the suffering that we have gone through,” he said.

–       Bernama


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