KOTA KINABALU, June 6 — Deputy Chief Minister Christina Liew today said that she will bring up the topic of declassifying the tragic 1976 Double Six plane crash which took the lives of several prominent Sabah leaders, to the Chief Minister on Monday.
Liew said it would ultimately be up to relevant authorities to decide whether they want to reveal the full report of the crash.
“We are aware that there are calls by people, whether from the government or opposition, to reveal the results of the report.
“It has been 43 years. They must have their reasons not to reveal it.
“I will bring this to the attention of the chief minister on Monday,” she told reporters after a memorial service at the Double Six monument held today.
Liew was representing Chief Minister Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal in attending the annual memorial service attended by the victim’s family members.
The crash which took place on June 6, 1976, killed the then chief minister Tun Fuad Stephens, who had been sworn in a just 53 days before, along with 10 others including three Sabah ministers when the GAF Nomad aircraft they were in crashed in Sembulan.
They were on their way back to Kota Kinabalu from Labuan when the plane crashed just before landing in Kampung Sembulan.
The crash paved the way for some significant changes in the Sabah political landscape and gave rise to theories of sabotage.
The official statement after the crash was that the cause was from pilot error and aircraft overload. However, the investigation results were never made public and classified under the Official Secrets Act.
Today’s memorial service was attended by Liew, several politicians, government officials, Toh Puan Rahimah Stephens, and Nancy Mojuntin, the widow of local government and housing minister Peter Mojuntin as well as family members of those who were killed.
Assistant Minister in the Chief Minister’s Department Jimmy Wong was among those who made the call for the report to be declassified.
He said many Sabahans doubted that the plane crashed simply because it was overweight and wanted to know the real reason for the crash.
“I hope the new chief minister will look into it. It has been 42 years, and the time has come to reveal it once and for all,” he said at last year’s memorial.