Relatives of Malaysians killed by British troops more than six decades ago have vowed to continue their legal campaign for a fresh inquiry into the massacre in colonial-era Malaya.
Lawyers representing the families of 24 unarmed Malaysian rubber plantation workers, who were killed by UK troops in 1948, said they would take their case for a new investigation to the Supreme Court and ultimately to the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR).
This came after England’s Court of Appeal rejected on Wednesday an attempt by the families to overturn an earlier High Court ruling that upheld the British government’s decision not to hold a formal probe into the Batang Kali killings.
However, Quek Ngee Meng, a spokesman for the family members of the victims, said despite the dismissal of the appeal, the “journey to seek redress and justice has not come to an end.”
“The destination is not too far off either. Either UK human rights law needs to catch up with Europe with the help of the UK Supreme Court, or the families will need to go to Europe for satisfaction,” he added.
The massacre involving members of G Company, 2nd Scots Guards, occurred when British troops were trying to put down the post-Second World War Communist insurgency known as the Malayan Emergency.
British soldiers surrounded the rubber estate at Sungai Rimoh in Batang Kali, north of Kuala Lumpur, and shot dead 24 villagers before setting the village on fire.