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  • Wartawan Nabalu News

Australia prepares to publish its investigation report on Double Six air crash


13 April 2023

By Wartawan Nabalu News


KUALA LUMPUR: Transport Minister Anthony Loke said Australia has indicated its readiness to declassify and release its own investigation report on the 1976 Double Six air crash that resulted in the death of Sabah’s chief minister and several other officials.


Loke said he had conveyed Malaysia’s consent for the publication of the report after communicating with the Australian government through its high commission here.


He said Canberra respected Putrajaya’s decision to declassify its own report on the incident, which took place in Malaysia.


“From the Australian side, they are prepared to release it. But of course, they respect our government, because this accident happened in Malaysia.


“They have sought our opinion and approval to release the report. We have no objection to their decision. The timing of the release is up to them,” he said to reporters after an event today, according to The Vibes.


The Double Six air crash involved 11 fatalities, including then Sabah chief minister Tun Fuad Stephens and three state cabinet ministers, when their plane crashed near Kota Kinabalu airport on June 6, 1976.


The minister said every aviation incident must be transparently and comprehensively investigated to instil international trust in Malaysia’s ability to build an aviation industry that is credible and meets the highest standards.


“The Transport Ministry is committed to continuing this principle of transparency,” said Loke, who also expressed his condolences to all the families and next-of-kin of the victims who died in the Double Six tragedy.


Anwar, on April 5, said the decision to declassify the report was made in the interest of the victims’ families as well as the views of the people of Sabah who wanted detailed information about the incident.


In the incident, an Australian-made Nomad 9M-ATZ aircraft operated by Sabah Air carrying the group on its way from Labuan, crashed near Kota Kinabalu airport on June 6, 1976.


The cause of the crash has been a source of controversy and speculation for decades, with some alleging foul play or sabotage.


Meanwhile, Loke said he had no idea why the report was classified under the Official Secrets Act (OSA) for 47 years. He said it was probably a standard procedure for such reports in the past.


Another news quoted Fuad’s daughter, Joanna Stephens, as making a personal plea to Australia to unlock all reports on the Double Six investigations. She said she wanted closure and justice for her father and his colleagues.


According to a declassified report, there was no evidence of sabotage or foul play in the crash. The report cited pilot error, bad weather, and technical issues as possible factors.


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