§ Mr. Gammans
asked the Secretary of State for War what steps are being taken to investigate cases of atrocities committed against the Asiatic civilian population of Malaya during the Japanese occupation and to bring the perpetrators of these crimes to justice.
§ Mr. Bellenger
Military Courts have been established in Malaya by Proclamation whose powers include jurisdiction over persons alleged to have committed offences against the laws in force prior to the Japanese occupation, but committed during that period. Although the military administration is anxious to bring to justice the perpetrators of such crimes, their success in doing so is largely dependent upon the willingness of the local population to come forward with reports. These reports have not so far been on a large scale.
With regard to war crimes, a Court of Inquiry was established soon after the reoccupation of Malaya for the purpose of recording available evidence relating to war crimes without distinction as to whether they were committed against the European or Asiatic population. The evidence so recorded is handed over to the local military authorities who are responsible for bringing war criminals to trial before British Military Courts convened under Army Order No. 81 of 1945.