Editor’s Note: It seems to me that the claim of RM 270 billion is mistaken (perhaps in yen = RM 9,028,465,731.69). Even so, the amount remains in question but so does the disposition of the funds. Where are they, who has them, who was responsible? All are valid and necessary queries , especially for a nation who was under the hand of a PM who claimed Islam was the nation’s religion and thus also, its accountable estate under heaven’s gaze. – oz
January 6, 2013 By Chua Jui Meng
The money – RM207 billion – is believed to have been transferred by the Japanese government to Malaysia in the 1990s. What has happened to it?
The revelation by the Japanese Embassy that it had paid compensation to the Malaysian government for families of victims of the so called “Death Railway” project in the 1940s is shocking.
The sum of RM207 billion or whatever the amount must be revealed by Mahathir. He was close to the Japanese government and corporate sector when he promoted his Look East Policy aimed at enhancing trade with Japan.
The money, believed to be amounting to RM207 billion, was meant to be distributed to some 30,000 Malaysians who had been recruited as forced labourers by the Japanese to build the Thai-Burma rail link.
This means each affected family is entitled to receive between RM2.8 million and RM3 million as compensation.
The stinking part of the Umno-led Barisan Nasional federal government is that the public is today unaware of the compensation payment by the Japanese. We would have thought Mahathir would have brought the money back from Japan in triumph, like a victorious Roman general. UMNO would have organized a huge gathering of the victims or their families and distributed the money. No, it was all covered in secrecy.
National probe needed
The money rightfully belongs to the victims of the “Death Railway” project and their families and to rob them is despicable. The money is believed to have been transferred by the Japanese government to Malaysia in the 1990s. This means it happened during Mahathir’s 22-year reign. So … Where is it?
The government should immediately set up a national probe team to track down the thief/thieves to recover the money and for prosecution. Surely there are paper trails, beginning with the transfer/s from the Japanese to the Malaysian government.
Meanwhile, Japan can do further justice to the 30,000 Malaysian forced labourers who died in the “Death Railway” project by revealing their identities so that their families are traced.
Chua Jui Meng is PKR vice-president and Johor state chief. He is also a former MCA vice-president and an ex-Cabinet member.
|Harakahdaily,||07 January 2013|
Jan 7: The Japanese embassy in Kuala Lumpur has clarified a report by Harakahdaily quoting Bukit Gantang member of parliament Nizar Jamaluddin.
Nizar, who heads Jejak, a secretariat formed to investigate the claim that compensation paid by Tokyo to the Malaysian government for victims of the Death Railway project has yet to reach them, had last week met officials of the embassy to get more details.
In its report, Harakahdaily quoted Jejak as saying that the embassy’s second secretary Takaharu Suegami confirmed money had been paid to the Malaysian government in the 1990s.
In a short email to Jejak clarifying the report, the embassy said it was not aware of any other compensation paid to Malaysia other than the 1967 agreement between Tokyo and Kuala Lumpur.
Under the deal signed in September 1967, the two governments agreed that Japan would pay “blood money” to the Malaysian government being settlement of the issue of compensation to those forced to work on the “Death Railway”, an ambitious project by the Japanese imperial power to link Burma and Thailand with 400-kilometres of railway tracks.
The Japanese embassy also further clarified today that the undisclosed amount was transfered “around 1970’s or 80’s”, but added that it had to check with its government on the list of victims as well as whether there has been any other compensation.
Nizar had earlier suggested that based on documents he had, Japan had paid some RM207 billion to the Malaysian government in 2004, while the money had yet to be distributed to family members of the estimated 30,000 Malaysians who worked as forced labourers for the project.