Archived: Show proof, MIC tells PKR

PETALING JAYA: A MIC leader has challenged PKR vice-president Chua Jui Meng to expose the evidence regarding the Death Railway compensation.

S Vell Paari claimed that the opposition leader had come up with another tale to confuse the Indian community.

“Since [PKR vice-president] N Surendran failed to convince the Indians on the ‘stateless Indians’ issue, now its Chua’s turn…” said the MIC publicity and communication chief.

In a FMT article on Sunday, Chua urged former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad to clear the air over the alleged compensation given by the Japanese government.

The compensation, believed to be amounting to RM207 billion, was meant to be distributed to some 30,000 Malaysians who had been recruited as forced labourers by the Japanese to build the Thai-Burma rail link.

The money was believed to have been transferred by the Japanese government to Malaysia in the 1990s.

Vell Paari, however, found it odd that apart from Pakatan leaders, nobody else was aware of the compensation.

“He (Chua) said the money was given in the 1990s. Then, how come there was not a single media report about this?” asked the MIC central working committee (CWC) member.

Furthermore, he said that it was not a small sum which could be concealed.

“It is a huge amount. And the Japanese government would not have paid the compensation without the knowledge of international bodies such as the United Nations,” he added.

Vell Paari also challenged Chua to ask his de facto leader Anwar Ibrahim about the compensation since the latter was the deputy prime minister in the 1990s.

“Let’s say, if Chua is talking the truth that the Umno led government ‘hijacked’ the money, then Anwar must have also been a part of it,” he said.

Anwar was deputy prime minister and also finance minister between 1993 and 1998.

Yesterday Anwar had confirmed that RM207 billion Death Railway compensation was sent to the Malaysian government but added that the money did not go through the Treasury. He also called on Mahathir to explain the matter.

The Death Railway also known as the Burma Railway was a 415km track between Thailand, and Burma, built by the Japanese during World War II, to support its forces in the Burma campaign.

About 240,000 labourers including 60,000 prisoners of war were used in its construction. There were about 40,000 to 50,000 Malaysians, mainly Indians, who worked in the project.

It is learnt that more than 30,000 Malaysians died from disease, deprivation and horrendous brutality at the hands of the Japanese army.

Paari also said the MIC will spearhead the matter if its true.

“I am going to write to Japanese ambassador for confirmation on this,” he added.

Also read:

Anwar: RM207b ‘not sent through Treasury’

Who hijacked the Death Railway money?