should honour the MCA pledge a decade ago to secure justice for the 56-year
Batang Kali Massacre by asking Cabinet to make public the finding of police
investigations into the massacre completed in 1997
by Lim Kit Siang
(Petaling Jaya, Saturday): Eleven years ago, the MCA spearheaded a campaign to seek justice for the re-opening of the 1948 Batang Kali Massacre, where 24 unarmed and defenceless rubber tappers were massacred “In Cold Blood” by a patrol of the Scots Guards.
MCA arranged for a survivor of the Batang Kali massacre, Chang Hong, 77, and two eye-witnesses, Tan Moi, 73 and Foo Mooi, 86, to petition Queen Elizabeth on 8th July 1993 to get 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 MCA arranged for the three to lodge 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.
Nothing has been heard of the MCA campaign in the past decade, as if the MCA leadership has taken a policy decision to drop the case of the Batang Kali Massacre after assuring the trio, family members, descendants and relatives of the 24 massacred, the people of Ulu Yam Baru and Batang Kali as well as the whole nation that MCA would not allow the historic injustice and wrong of the Batang Kali Massacre to go unrectified.
Can the MCA President, Datuk Seri Ong Ka Ting explain the reason for the change of heart of the MCA on the Batang Kali Massacre?
On Wednesday, DAP Acting Secretary-General and MP for Ipoh Barat, M. Kulasegeran 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.
For the first time in parliamentary history, the Malaysian Government gave a response on the Batang Kali Massacre when the Parliamentary Secretary to the Finance Ministry, Datuk Helmi Yahya, answering on behalf of the government said on Thursday:
“Tuan Yang di-Pertua, Yang Berhormat bagi Ipoh Barat, ini kes yang dibangkit tadi saya mendapat maklumat pembunuhan beramai-ramai 24 orang penoreh getah di Batang Kali pada tahun 1947 oleh Scots Guardsman.
“Tuan Yang di-Pertua, siasatan polis yang dijalankan pada tarikh laporan dibuat pada 14 Julai 1993, hasil siasatan dikemukakan kepada Ketua Jabatan Siasatan Jenayah Selangor dan Jabatan Siasatan Jenayah Bukit Aman. Seterusnya dirujuk kepada Jabatan Peguam Negara pada 30 Disember 1997 diputuskan keputusan siasatan ditutup kerana tidak menunjukkan apa-apa bukti untuk mendakwa sesiapa.”
I protested at this answer, as no one expected anyone of the Scot Guards responsible for the Batang Kali Massacre 56 years to be identified let alone to be prosecuted. The issue however is whether there was a massacre of the 24 innocent rubber tappers and the righting of such a 56-year historic wrong and injustice.
I do not think there would be strong disagreement with the Attorney-General that there could no no prosecution, but this finding could not relieve the Malaysian government of the historic responsibility to rectify the injustice of the Batang Kali Massacre and the killing of 24 innocent lives 56 years ago.
MCA Ministers should honour the MCA pledge a decade ago to secure justice for the 56-year Batang Kali Massacre by asking Cabinet on Wednesday to make public the finding of police investigations into the massacre completed in 1997 and to confirm that the killing of 24 rubber tappers in Batang Kali in 1948 was a massacre of innocent youths.
The next step would be to communicate with the United Kingdom government to secure an acknowledgement what it clearly knew and “covered up” for 56 years – that its soldiers had been guilty of the Batang Kali Massacre on 12th December 1948.
* Lim Kit Siang, Parliamentary Opposition Leader,
Member of Parliament for Ipoh Timor & DAP National Chairman