Britain considers holding Malaya 'massacre' inquiry





Britain is considering holding an inquiry into an alleged 'massacre' of unarmed Malayan villagers by UK troops in 1948, reversing an earlier decision.

The about face comes three months after the British Government turned down a request from Malaysian activists to investigate the killings, which took place during an anti-communist operation in the Malayan Emergency.

The "Batang Kali massacre" occurred in a village in central Selangor state on Dec 12, 1948, when 14 members of the Scots Guards are alleged to have killed 24 unarmed ethnic Chinese and set fire to their village on a rubber plantation.

A spokesman for the activists, who have been campaigning for an investigation since 1993, welcomed the decision and urged a speedy resolution to the issue.



The massacre remained largely forgotten until a British newspaper in 1970 ran an explosive account of the killings, publishing sworn affidavits by several soldiers involved who admitted the villagers were shot in cold blood.

The revelations provoked uproar in Britain but a promised investigation was later dropped after a change in government.




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