Double Six tragedy: Sabahans still remember

The public commemorate the air crash on social media

KOTA KINABALU — Sabahans took to the Internet to mark the air crash that took the lives of several prominent state leaders 45 years ago. 

Netizens paid their respects by sharing e-posters, reports and literary works via social media. 

A local daily, Daily Express, posted on Facebook a photo of the paper dated June 7, 1967. It had reported on the Double Six tragedy on its front page.

Double Six tragedy: Sabahans still remember 
Newspaper cutting of the front page of Daily Express, Sabah’s local daily that reported on the Double Six tragedy on June 7, 1976. – Facebook pic

The paper shared: “On this day 45 years ago on June 6th, 1976, an Australian built plane called Nomad departed Labuan and crashed on the Sembulan seabed just before landing at the Kota Kinabalu Airport, killing all 11 onboard.

“It became known to many as the Double Six Tragedy. It was no ordinary plane crash because those who died included the then Chief Minister of Sabah Tun Mohd Fuad Stephens and four state ministers. Also because the official findings of the crash have not been disclosed till this day.” 

The post was commented by many Sabahans who shared prayers for the souls of the victims who lost their lives during the incident. Most shared that Sabahans must not forget the incident which had taken the life of our Chief Minister and others. 

Other Facebook users shared photos of the Double Six Monument in Sembulan and asked Sabahans not to forget the important history that has shaped the state. 

A photo to remember the 45th memorial day of the Double Six tragedy that was widely shared on social media platforms. – Social media photo
A photo to remember the 45th memorial day of the Double Six tragedy that was widely shared on social media platforms. – Social media photo

“The History that shapes Sabahan fate and should be taught to all young Sabahans,” said Facebook user Jasper Moses. 

In his Facebook post, Lee TJ said that after the incident, Sabah’s rights and natural resources had been taken away. 

Facebook user Frisco Celestial in a comment section said: “The unexposed truth lies with the signing of petroleum rights days after the incident; Sabah’s riches misused for development across the South China Sea.” 

Another Facebook user, Arthur Leong, said that he got information from an Australian test pilot who was familiar with the investigation, that the plane was overloaded. 

“The plane was overloaded, so they altered the rear flaps. When landing, they were averted due to commercial flight priority. The Nomad could not regain upward flight as the altered back flap restricts the upward gain,” he said. 

From their social media posts, it seems that despite the lack of physical ceremony, the people of Sabah have not forgotten the Double Six tragedy.

Despite the lockdown, Sabah police gave the green light for the commemoration ceremony of the Double Six tragedy in Sembulan today.

Sabah Star deputy president Jalumin Bayogoh represented party president Datuk Seri Jeffrey Kitingan at the event.

By : Rebecca Chong – THE VIBES

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