Wednesday, September 05, 2012

Families of Batang Kali victims lose London court battle

Wonder whether the Malaysian government was with its people who are claiming justice - i.e. a full inquiry...

Disappointed that the British government is avoiding a full inquiry into the incident. They started investigating ...then dropped it and apparently (from the report) never came to any conclusions... and this is unacceptable

Malaysian government should also have an independent public inquiry into the Batang Kali incident - and if found that these people were wrongfully killed by the British troops - demand an apology, adequate compensation and justice.

Families of Batang Kali victims lose London court battle

LONDON (AFP): The 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 Dec 12, 1948, shot the 24 workers and set the village on fire, London's High Court heard.

The incident 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. As long as the injustice remains, the families will be pursuing legal action,” said John Halford, a solicitor representing the families.

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. The truth has not been fully revealed,” said Chong Koon Ying - whose father Chong Voon was killed - in a statement released by lawyers.

The families hope an investigation could lead to an apology and reparations. - AFP - Star Online, 4/9/2012, Families of Batang Kali victims lose London court battle

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