“Double Six crash victims’ families deserve compensation after 4 decades of suffering,” says ex-Sabah CM

THE Malaysian and Australian governments must compensate the family members of the Double Six plane crash victims for withholding their respective findings on the 1976 incident that had claimed the lives of 11 people, said former Sabah chief minister Tan Sri Mohd Harris Salleh.

Harris said this is the requirement practiced worldwide where compensation should not be for the accident but the suffering endured by the victims’ families for over 40 years, and both governments should be sued for their actions.

“The Nomad plane crash was criminal in nature since it claimed 11 people and the Australian Government, as a sovereign, democratic and civilised nation, was wrong in heeding the Malaysian Government’s request to classify its findings as ‘confidential’,” he noted.

He believed the excuse given by the Australian Government that the “Malaysian authorities requested that the report be treated as confidential” is merely to protect the Nomad plane manufacturer, Government Aircraft Factories (GAF) from any forms of liability and responsibility.

“This has been denied by Malaysia and makes a mockery of Australian sovereignty, which is supposedly not subject to instructions from foreign countries as to what to do and what not to do,” a Sabah Daily Express report quoted him as saying.

“This Nomad plane crash is criminal in nature as it killed 11 people and surely the Australian Government as a sovereign, democratic and civilised nation would not resort to such criminal wrongdoings.

“The Australian Government as reported by many papers and television documentaries, prided itself as having cutting-edge technology.

“By doing so the Australian Government purposely and intentionally concealed the criminal wrongdoings for the sake of nationalism and to protect sales of the aircraft,” said Harris.

Harris stated that the long-awaited investigations featured no “secret” information and that it is unclear why the Malaysian and Australian governments opted to label them as such.

“The families of the victims had suffered immensely the last 46 years, just so the Malaysian and Australian governments can ‘cover up’ reports that contain no secrets,” he remarked.

“Therefore, it is important for the Malaysian and Australian governments to compensate for such suffering.”

Harris further pointed out that Sabahans and victims’ families accept the fact that accidents, including plane crashes, occur but what they want to know is why the Malaysian and Australian governments had failed to release the completed report soon after.

The June 1976 incident took the lives of then-Sabah chief minister Tun Fuad Stephens, then-Housing and Local Government Minister Datuk Peter Mojuntin, state ministers Datuk Salleh Sulong, Datuk Chong Thien Vun and seven others after the plane crashed in Sembulan, Kota Kinabalu. – May 4, 2023


Main pic credit: Wikimedia Commons

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