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The Batang Kali massacre is an incident that supposedly took place in Malaya on December 12, 1948 during British military operations against the communists in the post-World War II Malayan Emergency.

It was claimed that the 7th Platoon, G Company, 2nd Scots Guard surrounded a rubber estate at Sungai Rimoh, Batang Kali, Selangor in Malaya and shot 24 villagers before setting fire to the village. The only adult male survivor was Chong Hong, who was in his 20s at the time. He claimed to have fainted and was presumed dead by the guardsmen. Eye witnesses include the victims' spouse and children and others including Tham Yong age 78 and Loh Ah Choy age 67. At least one female eyewitness has questioned his account. The men had been separated from the women and children for interrogation before the shooting began. The incident today is sometimes described as "Britain's My Lai massacre". It was in this campaign that Sir Gerald Templer first coined the now famous phrase "hearts and minds" as part of his strategy for victory.

The British Defence Secretary (Denis Healey) instructed Scotland Yard to set up a special task team (lead by Frank Williams) to investigate the matter. A total lack of evidence caused the incoming Conservative government chose to drop the investigation in 1970.

On September 9, 1992, a BBC documentary, an investigative report into the massacre entitled "In Cold Blood" was aired in the United Kingdom and revealed fresh evidence about it. The documentary includes accounts from witnesses and survivors, including confessions of an ex-Scots Guards soldier and interviews with the Scotland Yard Police Officers who had investigated the case in 1970.

Ongoing Debate

On June 8, 1993 with the help of the MCA Legal Bureau, a petition was presented to her Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II asking that justice be done.

On July 14, 1993 a police report was lodged by three survivors, accompanied by the MCA Public Service and Complaints Bureau Chief Michael Chong.

On September 18, 1993, Mr Gavin Hewitt (Head of South East Asia Department of the Foreign Office, UK) states that "No new evidence has been uncovered by the British authorities to warrant the setting up of another official inquiry into the alleged massacre of 24 villagers in Batang Kali...".

On December 30, 1997 an investigation report is submitted to the Royal Malaysian Police Jabatan Siasatan Jenayah Bukit Aman. The case was closed on the grounds of insufficient evidence for prosecution.

On July 13, 2004, the DAP, a Malaysian political party, raised the Batang Kali massacre in the Malaysian Parliament.

On March 25, 2008, the family members of the massacre victims and several NGOs formed an 'Action Committee Condemning the Batang Kali Massacre' and submitted a petition to the British High Commission in Malaysia. The petition seeks official apology, compensation for the family members of the 24 massacre victims and financial contribution towards the educational and cultural development of the Ulu Yam community.

On January 30, 2009, the Foreign Office in Britain rejected a call for an inquiry into the massacre of villagers[1]. On April 24 2009, the Government announced that it was reconsidering this decision[2].

On April 30, 2009, The Independent UK reported that Ministers have bowed to legal action and agreed to reinvestigate the alleged massacre of 24 unarmed villagers by British soldiers in Malaya more than 60 years ago.[3]. Secret papers uncovered by Mrs Tham's solicitors, Bindmans, now show that the colonial Attorney General who exonerated the British troops of any wrongdoing at the time privately believed that mass public executions might deter other insurgents. A second document reveals that officials the British High Commission in Kuala Lumpur had briefed ministers that there was little point in Scotland Yard officers interviewing eyewitnesses in the 1970s because Malaysian villagers were untrustworthy, motivated by compensation and it was "doubtful" they could recall events 22 years earlier.

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