KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 5 — The British government maintained that a public inquiry into the killing of 24 Batang Kali civilians over 60 years ago will not be able to reach any credible conclusion, given the length of time passed.
The British government spokesman in response to the decision of the High Court in London yesterday said: “We did not feel that the interests of justice would have been served by spending significant sums on further investigations for which there have been a number of previous enquiries.”
It was reported that the High Court in London yesterday had upheld the British government’s decision not to hold a public inquiry into the killing of 24 Batang Kali civilians over 60 years ago.
According to British daily, The Guardian, the High Court ruled on the matter after a hearing in May in London and the sitting judges concluded that the government’s decision was “not unreasonable”.
The British government spokesman in a statement made available here today said it was clearly a deeply regrettable incident.
“We extend our sympathy to the families and survivors for the loss the families and survivors for the loss of life and suffering,” said the spokesman.
The Batang Kali massacre took place on December 12, 1948 during British military operations against communist terrorists after the end of World War II.
It was alleged that the Seventh Platoon of the G Company, 2nd Scots Guards, had surrounded a rubber estate at Sungai Rimoh and shot 24 villagers before setting fire to the village.
In January 2009, the British Foreign Office rejected a call for an inquiry but three months later, it was reported that the government was re-considering the decision.
On April 2010, the last witness of the Batang Kali massacre, Tham Yong, 78, passed away. — Bernama