Truth still denied

The Batang Kali massacre

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  • Published 20180206
  • ISBN: 9781925603293
  • Extent: 264pp
  • Paperback (234 x 153mm), eBook

SOMETIME IN 1990, I was driving with Mary Maguire, a long-time British resident of Malaysia, in her bright-yellow VW Beetle along a beautiful winding road towards the town of Kuala Kubu Baru, north of Kuala Lumpur. When we passed a road sign that said ‘Batang Kali’, Mary turned to me. ‘You know Bernice, there was a massacre here during the Malayan Emergency. Innocent people were killed and the British government did bloody nothing.’ I uttered an expletive and returned my gaze to the plantations. The tall rubber trees suddenly seemed stony, silent.

A massacre on Malayan soil? By British soldiers? Why wasn’t this in our history books? Why wasn’t this part of our national consciousness? And why, in 1990, was there still no apology or compensation from the British government? I had many questions. Now, almost seventy years after the massacre, the event still looms, unresolved.

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About the author

Bernice Chauly

Bernice Chauly is the award-winning author of six books of poetry and prose, which include the acclaimed Growing Up With Ghosts (Matahari Books, 2011)...

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