New documents reveal cover-up of 1948 British 'massacre' of villagers in Malaya
Foreign Office intervened to halt an investigation in the 1990s by Malaysian authorities into the deaths of 24 unarmed villagers
Communist prisoners are held during the Malaya emergency of the late 1940s. Photograph: Jack Birns/Time & Life Pictures
The Foreign Office intervened to stop a criminal investigation into the alleged massacre of 24 unarmed villagers by British troops, in a cover-up that puts Britain's colonial past under renewed scrutiny. Newly disclosed documents reveal that in the 1990s UK officials pressured Malaysian authorities into aborting a police inquiry into the alleged killings by Scots Guards in Malaya in 1948.
They reveal that Malaysian police officers contacted Interpol and were due to visit the UK in 1993 to interview soldiers involved in the shootings, only for the Foreign Office to pressure the country's high commissioner into halting the visit. One memorandum states that senior Foreign Office officials later met Malaysian police chiefs to discuss closing the inquiry shortly before it was aborted.