Sabah Government supports legal action regarding “Double Six crash” compensation

KOTA KINABALU – The Sabah Government will support the plans of the families of the three Sabah ministers who died in the “Double Six”, air crash, 48 years ago. They plan to seek compensation through the courts.

The Deputy Chief Minister, Datuk Seri Jeffrey Kitingan, agreed with their right.

“We sympathise.” He said that the state government supports them.

Datuk Peter Donald Mojuntin – who was the spokesperson for the families – said that they were disappointed after sending two letters to Transport Ministry.

“We sent our first letter in January, and then a second in April. He told reporters that there had been no response, no acknowledgement of our letters or any indication that the matter was being taken into consideration.

He said that the silence of the leaders was bad not only for their families but also for Sabah, Sabahans and the people who still wonder what happened to them 48 years ago.

Donald’s father Datuk Peter Mojuntin was one of the 11 victims who died in the plane crash in Sembulan on June 6, 1976. He was then the Minister for Local Government and Housing.

Datuk Donald Peter Mojuntin.

Other members of the delegation were former Sabah Chief Minister Tun Stephens, then Finance Minister Datuk Sulong, Public Works and Communications minister Datuk Chong Thyen Vun and Assistant Minister to Chief Minister Datuk Darius binion, as well as Sabah Finance Minister Datuk Peter Andu.

The crash also claimed the lives of Syed Hussien, the director of the economic planning unit, Ishak Athan, the executive assistant to then federal minister Tengku Radaleigh Hamzah, pilot Captain Gandhi Nathan and Corporal Said Mohamed, Fuad’s bodyguard.

We want to know why the report was classified as an official secret.

“The reports contained no elements that could be construed as a threat to the national security or unity.” “It is in the public’s interest to know what became of their top leaders during that time,” he added, adding they had given themselves a deadline of six months from January to decide on their next action.

He continued: “It doesn’t matter what they decide. At least show some respect to the families that have suffered for 48 years. If there is no response by today (6 June), we will discuss seriously what to do.

After their requests went unanswered, the families now considered legal action.

In 1976, the air crash that claimed the lives half the Sabah cabinet was shrouded by mystery.

The crash was investigated by two different investigators, one from Malaysia and the other by Australian Government Factories, the aircraft manufacturer. Both reports were classified after their completion in 1977.

The Federal Cabinet will declassify reports in 2023 following an order from the High Court.

The Malaysian version of the report was released on 6 April 2023, while Australia’s report was released on 26 April 2023.

The Malaysian version attributed the accident to miscalculations around the centre of gravity on the tail of the aircraft, while the Australian version said the pilot was of inferior ability, and that Sabah Air had operated the aircraft in violation of Civil Aviation Department requirements.

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