The Batang Kali Massacre
Exactly sixty years ago on this day in people’s history, the Batang Kali Massacre occurred in Malaya. On December 12th, 1948, twenty-four unarmed villagers were killed by the Scots Guard regiment of the British Army. The massacre occurred six-months into what would become a twelve year post-World War II conflict between the British so-called commonwealth forces and the Malayan National Liberation Army. According to eyewitness Tham Yong, the Scots Guards came to Batang Kali that fateful day and accused villagers of assisting communist insurgents. Just sixteen years old at the time, Yong recounted how the unarmed civilians were taken away in a truck to be shot in the back. The events of the massacre were first reported days later as a supposed success against bandits in what the British deemed the Malayan Emergency. Despite efforts to cover up Britain’s “My Lai,” the truth of the brutal massacre is now indisputable.
However, no one has ever been held accountable for the crime. In response, family members of the victims are currently seeking an official apology and monetary compensation from Britain who is indebted to its past.