KOTA KINABALU March 3, 2012: The Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP) said it would continue to press the government to reopen the investigation into the airplane crash that killed former chief minister Fuad Stephens and 10 others on June 6, 1976.
SAPP supreme council member Bahari Aship said Sabahans need to know the truth behind the crash – now known as “Double Six” tragedy – which has never been satisfactorily explained.
Bahari pointed out that the High Court here, in its judgment in the defamation suit filed by former chief minister Harris Salleh against SAPP president Yong Teck Lee, had said that there was nothing wrong for Yong to call for a re-investigation of the tragedy.
“So there is nothing wrong to call for re-investigation of the Double Six tragedy. It’s seems that Barisan Nasional (BN) leaders including those from Sabah had got it wrong,” he said.
The High Court here this week ordered Yong to pay Harris RM1 million in damages for defamation for alluding that Harris was involved in the tragedy.
Justice Abdul Rahman Sebli found that Yong had “crossed the line” when he insinuated that Harris had “blood on his hand” though, he added, there was nothing wrong for Yong to call for a re-investigation of the air crash.
In a response to the court ruling, Bahari said Deputy Health Minister Rosnah Abdul Rashid Shirlin, who is also Wanita Umno Youth chief, had gone too far when she said that lying is the trend in the opposition.
He said that although the crash had happened some 36 years ago, the federal government had never made public its findings on the causes of the crash.
“The people of Sabah must be told what happened,” he added.
He said thast as long as the federal government was reluctant to make public those findings, the call to reopen the case must continue.
“People are asking why the government is reluctant. It seems that it is trying to sweep the case under the carpet,” he said.
On Rosnah’s statement that political leaders must be liable for whatever statement they make, Bahari said SAPP does have a sense of responsibility on every statement it had made and the party never tell lies.