KOTA KINABALU: The families of the Double Six crash victims have found that, on the occasion of the 47th anniversary of the tragedy, they may have got a better understanding of the events that led to the tragedy – but have yet to get any closure.
Details from the recently declassified reports by the Malaysian and Australian authorities did not give them the answers they were looking for.
“Once the respective reports came out, to be honest, it still felt the same – we were still left hanging,” said Datuk Donald Mojuntin, whose father Datuk Peter Mojuntin was among the 11 who perished in the crash involving an Australian Nomad aircraft.
“It did not answer the question why the reports were kept secret for over 40 years.
“We just want to have closure, but instead, the old wounds are bleeding again,” he said.
Donald joined the families of other victims in laying wreaths and paying their respects to the fallen at the crash site in Sembulan here yesterday morning.
Besides Peter, then the state local government and housing minister, also killed were chief minister Tun Fuad Stephens, state finance minister Datuk Salleh Sulong, state communications and works minister Chong Thain Vun and assistant minister to the chief minister Darius Binion.
Sadly, Fuad had only been sworn in as chief minister 52 days before the crash.
Donald said that for now, the families were going to huddle together to map out the 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.
“Whatever we want to do must be backed by the state government. All the information on the 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 that Sabahans in general also wanted the mystery to be solved.
Kartina Sulong, Salleh’s daughter, also said nothing had changed. “There are more questions than answers now,” she said.
Fuad’s daughter Faridah Stephens declined to comment on whether they were considering legal action, but added that their legal representatives would make an announcement if the families agreed on the kind of action to pursue.