Families of ‘Double Six’ tragedy feel let down, thinking of next action

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KOTA KINABALU: Unlike the previous years, the families of the “Double Six” plane crash marked the 47th anniversary of the tragic incident on Tuesday (June 6) with a better understanding of events that led to the fatal crash.


But these details provided no closure as the declassified reports over the incident did not furnish them the answers they were looking for.

“Once the respective reports came out, to be honest, it still feels the same – we are still left hanging,” said Datuk Donald Mojuntin, whose father Datuk Peter Mojuntin were among the 11 killed following the crash of the Australian Nomad aircraft.

“According to the declassified investigation reports, simple things (that caused the crash such as) pilot error or instrument failure, but it doesn’t answer the question why the reports were kept secret for over 40 years.

“The family feels let down, I don’t blame them. We just want to have closure but instead, the old wounds are bleeding again,” he added.

Donald joined the families of other victims in laying wreaths and paying their respects to the fallen at the crash site in Sembulan here on Tuesday morning.

Also present were Deputy Chief Minister I Datuk Seri Dr Jeffrey Kitingan, who was representing the Chief Minister, and Deputy Chief Minister II Datuk Seri Dr Joachim Gunsalam, among others.

Besides Peter, then the local government and housing minister, also killed were then chief minister Tun Fuad Stephens, state finance minister Datuk Salleh Sulong, and communications and works minister Chong Thain Vun among others.

Fuad had only been sworn-in as chief minister 52 days prior to the incident.

Donald said, for now, the respective families are going to huddle together to map out actions they could take in order to shed more light on the fatal crash which was blamed on pilot error and overloading of the rear cargo compartment.


“Maybe we can (find the answers) if we take a step forward but it must be a concerted effort.

“Yes, we’ll be meeting each other. In fact, we have been in touch with each other.

“But whatever we want to do must be backed by the state government. All the information on civil aviation is with the Federal Government, even the government-to-government matters with Australia.

“But the push must come from Sabah,” he said, contending Sabahans in general also wanted the mystery to be solved.

Kartina Sulong, Salleh’s daughter, also said that nothing had changed despite the declassified reports by Malaysia and Australia.

“There are more questions than answers now,” she said.

Fuad’s daughter, Faridah Stephens declined to comment on whether they were considering legal action.

She said, however, that their legal representatives would make an announcement if the respective families agreed on the kind of action to pursue.

– The Star

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