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MCA presses British govt on Batang Kali massacre

KUALA LUMPUR, 13 Aug 2009: The MCA wants the British government to continue its investigation and to have a fair inquiry into the Batang Kali massacre, vice-president Datuk Seri Liong Tiong Lai said today.

The party would take up the case with the British High Commission and Commonwealth Parliamentary Association, he told reporters at the party headquarters after a closed-door meeting with relatives of the victims who have set up an action committee.

Relatives of the 24 victims said British soldiers from the Second Scots Guards surrounded their village in a rubber estate in Batang Kali and shot them before setting the village on fire on 12 Dec 1948.

They are demanding an apology from the British government.

“The action committee wants to find out the truth and [provide] closure to this incident by having an independent and public inquiry. The committee would also like to have a suitable apology as the victims [were] neither terrorists nor bandits,” said Liow.

“The MCA feels that the British High Commissioner should reflect on and convey the concerns of the Malaysian public to the British government … a lot of innocent lives had been killed and this needs to be investigated,” he added.

In January this year, the British Foreign Office rejected a call for an inquiry, but three months later, it was reported that the government was reconsidering the decision.

Quek Ngee Meng, a voluntary lawyer for the action committee, said the committee met British defence and foreign affairs officials last month and obtained certain confidential information under the United Kingdom’s Freedom of Information Act.

“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs recognised that there was a certain degree of cover up, of political interference at that time, and the whole investigation cannot be independently or thoroughly completed,” he said. — Bernama

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