Double Six: Up to authorities to disclose report

IT is up to the relevant authorities whether they want to disclose the final investigation report of the 1976 Double Six Tragedy, says Chief Minister Datuk Seri Hajiji Noor.

“On June 6, 1976 (44 years ago), a tragedy dubbed as the ‘Double Six Tragedy’ became part of Sabah’s history when a Sabah Air-owned GAF N-22B aeroplane crashed,” he said in a written reply to a question by Nominated Assemblyman Datuk Yong Teck Lee.

The crash, he said, claimed 11 lives, including then Chief Minister Tun Fuad Stephens.

“It is believed that the Australian government had sent four investigation teams to help find the cause of incident.

“However, the actual cause is yet to be known until now and the report had been classified.

Therefore, it is up to the related authorities whether they want to reveal the report,” he said.

Yong had asked whether the State Government will make a request to the Federal Government to re-open the Malaysian final investigation report on the tragedy.

A probe involving the Australian GAF Nomad manufacturer and officials from the Australian Department of Transport was launched and completed some four months later, but the full report was classified under the Official Secrets Act.

Apart from Tun Fuad, the crash also took the lives of Datuk Peter Mojuntin who was then Sabah Local Government and Housing Minister, Datuk Salleh Sulong (Sabah Finance Minister), Chong Thien Vun (Sabah Works and Communication Minister), Datuk Darius Binion (Assistant Minister to Deputy Chief Minister), Datuk Wahid Peter Andu (Private Secretary to the Sabah Fin-ance Minister), Dr Syed Hussin Wafa (Director of State Economic Planning Unit), Datuk Ishak Atan (Private Secretary to Malaysian Federal Finance Minister Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah), Johari Stephens (Tun Fuad’s eldest son), Captain Ghandi Nathan (the pilot) and Corporal Said Mohammad (bodyguard to Tun Fuad). 

On June 22, 1976, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation announced the findings from the GAF investigations, which determined that the cause of the accident was due to pilot error. 

However, additional details were not released and the Australian investigation report remained classified since then.

In 2017, then Sabah Chief Minister Tan Sri Musa Aman, during question time at the State Legislative Assembly sitting, said the reports are still classified because the “Sabah Civil Aviation Department has no new information on the crash”. 

Author: Johnny Chin