Call on MPs regardless of party to work together to end the 56-year historic
injustice of the Batang Kali massacre of 24 rubber tappers by the Scots
Guards to end the three-generational wrongs, agonies and nightmares suffered
by their family members, descendants and relatives
Media Conference Statement
by Lim Kit Siang
(Parliament House, Thursday): On Tuesday night (13th July 2004), six DAP MPs of Parliament – M. Kulasegaran (Ipoh Barat and DAP Acting Secretary-General), Chong Eng (Bukit Mertajam and DAP Deputy Secretary-General), Chow Kon Yeow (Tanjong and Penang DAP Chairman), Fong Po Kuan (Batu Gajah), Lim Hock Seng (Bagan) and myself – and the DAP National Publicity Secretary Ronnie Liu had a dialogue in Ulu Yam Baru on one of the darkest chapters of the nation’s history, the horrific five minutes in Batang Kali 56 years ago on December 12, 1948, when 24 rubber tappers were massacred “In Cold Blood” by a patrol of the Scots Guards.
Present at the dialogue, attended by a survivor of the Batang Kali massacre, Chang Hong, 77, and two eye-witnesses, Tan Moi, 73 and Foo Mooi, 86, the public meeting of family members, descendants and relatives (as well as members of the public) heard the harrowing accounts of how 24 unarmed and defenceless men were massacred, and how the “atrocity” had been covered up for 56 long years.
On 8th July, 1993, Chan Hong, Tan Moi and Foo Mooi petitioned Queen Elizabeth II as the fountain of justice to direct the British Government to re-open the files and establish the truth of the horrific five minutes 56 years ago.
On 14th July, 1993, the three lodged police reports of the Batang Kali Massacre, acting on the advice of the then Inspector-General of Police, Tun Hanif Omar, who said that there was no time-frame to lodge a police report, especially for cases “pertaining to murder”, promising full and thorough police investigations. Following the report, the police classified the Batang Kali Massacre under Section 302 of the Penal Code. i.e. murder, and a high-level 10-man investigation team headed by the then Federal police serious crimes chief Superintendent Khew Ching Hoi was set up to investigate into the massacre.
More than 11 years have passed, but nothing has been heard of the trio’s petition to the Queen of England or the high-level police investigations commissioned by the then Inspector-General of Police.
Hanif is now the Deputy Chairman of the Police Royal Commission on how to ensure a better and more efficient police service, and I would urge him to ensure that the Commission also submit a report as to what has happened to the Police investigations into the Batang Kali Massacre, after he had advised the trio to lodge police reports, and why it had fizzled out.
Yesterday, Kulasegaran spoke up in Parliament calling for justice to be done for the 56-year historic wrongs perpetrated in the Batang Kali Massacre on 12th December 1948.
This is the second time that the DAP had raised the Batang Kali Massacre in Parliament – the first time was on 26th July 1993, when Lim Guan Eng, as Kota Melaka MP, sought to adjourn the House to debate the Batang Kali Massacre on a motion of urgent, definite public importance.
Guan Eng’s motion was rejected by the Parliament Speaker, Tun Mohamad Zahir, who said that while he agreed that the motion was specific and of public importance, he felt that there was no need for Parliament to be adjourned as “the British High Commission has made it clear that it would ask the British Government to study the matter”.
Eleven long years have passed and the rectification of the historic injustice of the Batang Kali Massacre on 12th December 1948 is as distant as ever.
Eleven years ago, the MCA, supported by Gerakan and MIC, spearheaded the campaign for the rectification of the historic wrong and injustice of the Batang Kali Massacre, arranging for Chan Hong, Tan Moi and Foo Mooi to petition the Queen of United Kingdom and to lodge the police reports.
As nothing has come out of these efforts, the time has come for all political parties, whether Barisan Nasional, Barisan Alternative or DAP, to come together to seek for the righting of this historic wrong and injustice.
All Members of Parliament regardless of party should work together to end the 56-year historic injustice of the Batang Kali massacre of 24 rubber tappers by the Scots Guards to end the three-generational wrongs, agonies and nightmares suffered by their family members, descendants and relatives.
Kulasegaran has been specially appointed to be the DAP parliamentary spokesman to seek rectification and justice on the 56-year Batang Kali Massacre, and I would propose the formation of an all-party parliamentary group to re-open the Batang Kali Massacre, devising a national and international strategy to make the British Government to own up to its historic injustice.
In actual fact, the historic injustice of the Batang Kali Massacre would have been rectified in 1970 if there had not been a sudden change of British Government, with the defeat of Labour by the Conservatives in the June 1970 General Election.
This was because the Labour British Government had re-opened investigations into the Batang Kali Massacre in February 1970, as the then Defence Minister Denis Healy had admitted in the House of Commons that there was a direct conflict of evidence as to what had happened at Batang Kali in December 1948, with the Scotland Yard ordered to set up a special team to conduct investigations.
The new Conservative Government countermanded the decision to re-open investigations into the Batang Kali Massacre on its election victory four months later.
A campaign must be launched and a strategy devised to get support in Malaysia and the United Kingdom for the righting of the 56-year historic injustice in the Batang Kali Massacre and the ending of the three-generational wrongs, agonies and nightmares suffered by their family members, descendants and relatives. The support of British Ministers, MPs, politicians, civil society leaders and NGOs must be sought.
In view of MCA’s efforts 11 years ago to try to re-open the Batang Kali Massacre, I hope MCA Ministers, Deputy Ministers and MPs will fully support a new campaign to bring the historic injustice of the Batang Kali Massacre to a satisfactory and just close.
* Lim Kit Siang, Parliamentary Opposition Leader,
Member of Parliament for Ipoh Timor & DAP National Chairman