KOTA KINABALU: Families of those who perished in the Double Six Nomad crash tragedy in Sabah will decide next week whether they will take any action against anyone linked to the incident.
Datuk Donald Mojuntin, whose father, the late state minister Datuk Peter Mojuntin, was among those killed in the June 6, 1966 tragedy, said any action to be taken, if any, would be made collectively among the families left behind.
"As I have said before, any further action to be taken would be made (collectively) among the families,” said the former Moyog assemblyman and Penampang MP.
"But for now, it is still in discussion whether to take action or not, or if everyone agrees to it or not,” he said during the Upko National Convention 2023 in Menggatal near here, Saturday (Sept 9).
It is also his hope that any further action by the families would bring closure to the incident which killed 11 people, and let their beloved family members rest in peace.
Donald said that for now, what mattered more for families of the victims was to have public apologies from both the Sabah and Federal Governments for having classified the investigation towards the tragedy for almost five decades.
He said this apology was important as the bereaved families had been asking for an answer for 47 years, and when the government decided to declassify the report, they found it anti-climactic.
Donald said every year, when families asked for the investigation report, the reason given for the classification was that the matters pertaining to the incident were related to public interests and national security.
“However, when the report was declassified, we found that the contents did not justify the decision to classify the case under the Officials Secret Act which was supposed to be related to public interest and national security,” he said.
"We do not want questions to be raised again every year on June 6. Family members have been asking the same questions for 47 years,” he said.
"Personally, my family and I think that classifying the reports without valid reason has caused suffering to us for many years,” Donald added.
In April this year, the federal and Australian governments finally declassified the Double Six investigation reports.
The report had, among others, put a large portion of the blame on human error as being among the main cause of the crash, and ruled out that the aircraft flaps were defective.
Others who perished in this crash included the then chief minister Tun Fuad Stephens, late state assistant minister Datuk Darius Binion, state ministers Datuk Salleh Sulong, Chong Thien Vun, Sabah Finance Ministry permanent secretary Datuk Wahid Peter Andau, Isak Atan (private secretary to Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah, who was then finance minister), Kpl Said Mohammad (bodyguard to Fuad), pilot Capt Gandhi Nathan and Fuad’s eldest son Johari Stephens.
They were on a flight from Labuan when the aircraft crashed in Sembulan while approaching the Kota Kinabalu International Airport.