Tun Fuad Stephens' family challenges Australian probe of “Double Six” crash
1 May 2023
By Wartawan Nabalu News
KOTA KINABALU: The family of Tun Fuad Stephens, former Chief Minister of Sabah, Malaysia, has on April 28 issued a statement raising concerns about the Australian investigation into the 1976 plane crash that killed Stephens and 10 others.
The family's statement comes in response to recently released folios from the Australian archives and includes several objections to the conclusions of the investigation.
The family's statement directly addresses several points, including rumors that Stephens may have been piloting the aircraft at the time of the crash.
“Johari Stephens was not flying or controlling the plane, as some reports claimed," the statement reads, "he was a passenger who had taken flying lessons."
The family also disputes the findings of the report by GAF team, the makers of the Nomad plane involved in the crash, which attributed the cause of the crash to mechanical failure.
"The report by GAF team had a clear conflict of interest and was biased and unreliable," the statement reads.
"The Australian team that probed the crash included two people from GAF who died in another Nomad crash two months later. They signed the report that was given to them."
The statement also raises concerns about the delay in releasing the final report and folios, which the family describes as "unacceptable and rude to them and to those who died in the crash."
They further question the impartiality of the investigation, citing the involvement of GAF and Australia and calling for additional input from other sources.
"We are seeking opinions from people who knew more about these planes to understand the technical information," the statement reads.
The family's statement also references a 1995 documentary by ABC titled "Lies in the Sky," which alleges that GAF and government officials suppressed negative reports about the safety and quality of the Nomad planes.
"The recommendations by GAF team showed their mindset and concern about being associated with DOT, as they felt that DOT implied criticism of their product," the statement reads.
The family concludes their statement by calling for truth and justice in the investigation into the crash, stating that they want to "tell the truth and honour Tun Fuad and Johari."