Archive for the ‘History of Sabah.’ Category

All Saints Secondary School’s 115th Anniversary

Friday, March 2nd, 2018

KOTA KINABALU: A combined celebration will be held by All Saints Secondary School for their 115th Anniversary together with the Anglican Schools Alumni Association 65th Anniversary.

The Chairman of All Saints School Management Board, Joseph Wong Yun Ming explained that the organising of the anniversaries was done by the school’s management board, the Anglican Schools Alumni Association, The Parents Association, and the Principal and staff of All Saints School.

“They came together with a united spirit and a common purpose to celebrate and give thanks for 115 years of the School’s proud history and achievements.

“This is also in line with our tradition of celebrating milestone years just like the school’s celebration of its 100th Anniversary (2003) and 110th Anniversary (2013),” he said during the press conference of All Saints Secondary School 115th Anniversary and Anglican Schools Alumni Association 65th Anniversary.

Also present were All Saints Secondary School Principal Dr Mary Gambidau, Parents Teacher Association Vice Chairman Dr Robert, Anglican School Alumni Association President Charles Chong and Sabah Council of Churches (SCC) President Bishop Datuk Melter Jiki Tais.

He added that in remembrance of the school contribution to the society during the last 115 years, various on-going activities will be conducted for the school.

Among the activities are upgrading and refurbishment of the school, career talk at the school hall in June, the school bazaar on the 7th July, All Saints School Open Day on the 25th July, thanksgiving service on the 27 July and Thanksgiving Celebration Dinner 115th Anniversary of All Saints’ School and 65th Anniversary of Anglican Schools Alumni Association on the 27 July at the Magellan Sutera Harbor Resort.

“During the career talk event, the ex-students of All Saints that is successful now will volunteers to share their experiences and their job’s specification to motivate the current students.

“While during the school open day, the school will be open to the public where they can see the process of teaching and learning, we will showcase the achievements of the school, and our archive room will also be open,” he said.

He further added that the Thanksgiving dinner is the finale of the celebration. There will be a performance from past and present students of All Saints’ School where all ex-All Saints students regardless of their religious background are invited.

“Therefore l would like to invite all alumni and ex-students, former principals and teachers, parents and friends to join us in All Saints’ School 115th Anniversary and Anglican Schools Alumni Association 65th Anniversary Celebrations.

“Today, we can look back with pride and thanksgiving and we can proudly declare that the School has groomed many of our State’s movers and shakers among our luminaries being the Chief Minister of Sabah, a former chief minister, cabinet ministers, educators, scientists, doctors, lawyers, accountants & leaders of many professions and fields,” he said.

He added that throughout 115 years, All Saints School has consistently remained under the care of many visionary principals whose aim was to elevate the school to greater heights without compromising on discipline and academic excellence.


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Crimes, tragedy and scandal that rock Sabah

Sunday, December 31st, 2017

Catamaran tragedy

Eight people, including seven from China, perished after the catamaran they boarded with 20 other tourists and crewmen capsized off Pulau Mengalum on Jan 28 – the first day of the Chinese New Year.

The vessel with 28 tourists and three crew members left the jetty in Tanjung Aru around 9am that day and was scheduled to arrive at Mengalum Island some two hours later – it never made it as it was struck by strong waves due to the bad weather some eight nautical miles off the island.

The skipper and a crewman were rescued by fishermen off Kudat the following morning and the incident was immediately related to the authority.

A search and recover (SAR) operation was launched, involving the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA), the Royal Malaysian Navy and the Royal Malaysia Police (PDRM) Air Wing Unit.

The SAR team managed to rescue 20 tourists, but they also found three bodies. Five people, including a 10-year-old child and a second crewman, were never found. The SAR operation also extended into Sarawak waters, off Miri.

A week into the tragedy, the SAR team found a woman’s body stuck in a fishing net belonging to a local fishing crew near Semarang areas, at 9.25am on Feb 4.

The body was found about eight nautical miles southwest off Pulau Mengalum, 13 nautical miles north-east of the last known position of the fatal incident, and 20 nautical miles to the west of Pulau Tiga.

The SAR team also found five orange life jackets on Jan 31, Feb 1, Feb 4, Feb 7 and Feb 9, but none of these was from the ill-fated catamaran.

The Jan 28 tragedy was considered jto be one of the longest SAR operations in the maritime history of Malaysia, spanning 126 days. It was finally called off at 9.20am on Jun 2.

Dent Havent kidnapping

Five Malaysians who were abducted by Abu Sayyaf in the waters off Dent Havent, Lahad Datu in July 2016, were finally released after being held captive for eight months.

Abdul Rahim Summas, 62, Tayuddin Anjut, 45, Mohd Ridzuan Ismail, 32, Fandy Bakran, 26, and Mohd Zumadil Rahim, 23, were abducted while on their way to Semporna after sending sand to Sandakan.

The incident was first realised when security forces found an empty, abandoned tug boat near Dent Havent on July 18, 2016.

Following continuous negotiations by the Royal Malaysia Police (PDRM) and their Philippine counterparts, the five men were finally released in March.

Tayudin and Abdul Rahim were found on a boat drifting off southern Philippines on March 23, while Jumadil, Mohd Ridzuan and Fandy are said to have been released by their captors on March 27.

Jalan Damai hostage situation

It was a harrowing experience for a local woman, who was being held at knife point by her captor for two hours during a hostage situation on May 10.

The 7.30pm incident at Jalan Damai in Kota Kinabalu was open to full view by the public, where a shirtless man was seen dragging the woman some 1.5km backwards, warning police not to come close and threatening to slit her throat open if they did.

Police investigation revealed that prior to the incident, the suspect had initially entered a house at Taman Istimewa in a burglary attempt, but failed when the house owner’s shouts prompted him to flee to a neighbour’s house. The suspect then grabbed the woman and took her hostage.

Police cordoned off both ends of Jalan Damai as they continued to negotiate with the suspect.

Throughout the two hours, police finally persuaded the man to let some ‘paramedics’ – who were actually police personnel in disguise – examine the victim. That was when the men-in-blue subdued the suspect.

The woman, in her 20s, only sustained a minor injury and was taken to Queen Elizabeth Hospital II for treatment. The 27-year-old suspect was charged with kidnapping and murder attempt under Section 3 of Kidnapping Act 1961 and Section 307 of the Penal Code, respectively.

by Elton Gomes,

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Not all work and no play in plantations

Saturday, September 23rd, 2017

SABAH, being the biggest player in the labour intensive oil palm sector in Malaysia, definitely requires many workers.

However, according to Asia Pacific Journal of Advanced Business and Social Studies entitled Perception of Local Youth in Sabah Towards Career in Oil Palm Plantation, more than 80 per cent of plantation labourers in this state mainly came from Indonesia and the Philippines.

The pressing issue now is the rising social problems arising from the hiring of illegal foreign workers, and the best answer is to hire local youths.

Nevertheless, the problem is compounded by the fact that it is difficult to hire the local youth workers and the progress in mechanization has also not been encouraging.

In a recent interview with The Borneo Post, Sabahmas Plantation Estates, Lahad Datu group manager Asrif bin Mahmud said the company had been offering locals to work in its three estates but the local youths claimed that working in the agricultural sector was as burden and tiresome.

“I am not sure about the other companies, but I take Sabahmas as an example. We have a total of 1,424 staff and workers at the moment, comprising 1,296 foreign workers, 66 local workers and the remaining 62 are executive and staff.

“I personally think that our local youths are not aware that there are so many plantation companies in Sabah providing good facilities to their workers.

“In Sabahmas, we provide proper housing with free electricity and clean water, mosque and chapel, clinic, and even creche – a nursery where babies and young children are cared for during the working day. Most of our workers never leave the company and even bring in their relatives if there is a vacancy,” he said.

Training Field Conductor, Jerrye Gustin, who joined the company two and a half years ago said it was his passion that leads him to the job.

The 30-year-old, who was born in Beluran, said he was raised in a farming family and oil palm is not alien to him.

“My father is an oil palm planter, and I used to help him. After finishing my high school, I did not go anywhere but helped my family in farming and looking after the small plantation. I even attended an agriculture course, learning about planting and oil palm maintenance.

“After reaching the age of 25, I knew I need to look for a job because I cannot depend on my father’s land. However, I don’t want to work at the city because most of my friends working there are coming back without savings. They said life is tough and price of goods are high.

“I was so lucky because my cousin told me about a vacancy in Sabahmas Plantation. It has been a while for me holding this position and currently I have 47 staff under me. I can see my bright future here because many locals were given the opportunity to hold higher position as long as you are very good at what you are doing,” he said.

Jerrye is currently looking after the landscape Sabahmas headquarters area and personally doing the grass cutting and other works, including paper work.

To him, looking at the opportunities given to most of the managers in the company to grow in their career, he believed,  obviously none of them went from being a grass cutter or ‘mandur’to a manager overnight.

He said, each of them worked at the company for over a decade before progressing in their career to allow them to get into their roles.

Therefore, he said the characteristics that all of these people shared are determination, the hunger to succeed over the long-term and loyalty to the company.

“I hope there will be more locals working in the plantation. However, they need to choose the right companies by looking at the certification, for example, in Sabahmas we are RSPO (Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil) certified, so everything is systematic. The company is committed in providing comfortable and a safe workplace, which is very important to me.

“Most of my friends who refused to work in the plantation will give two popular reasons, namely low wages and instability of income, but it is very confusing when they earn more in the city but do not have any savings,” he said

Another thing that Jerrye learned since he worked in the company was the importance of looking after the environment by not simply hunting and fishing in the plantation area.

Jerrye said his income in the plantation is a four-figure and there is not much expenses since the house was provided with electricity and clean water supply by the company. Every month, he set aside some money for his parents and also savings.

Since working in plantation starts at 5.30am until 2pm only, Jerrye said there was a lot of time for other activities such as sporting activities and farming around their housing. “Life is never boring in the estate.”

As for Indonesian couple, Isham Harris, 49, and his wife Mare Habe, 45, who have been with the company since the land clearing in 1994, working in plantation is the best job they ever had.

They never have any other plans in the future, but continue working in the company until as long as they want.

“We arrived at Sabahmas when the previous company (before being taken over by Sabahmas) was just starting to clear the land. We had all our four children here.

“Two of them are already working, one is currently studying in one of the universities in Jakarta, another one is still studying in Humana School here. The company is very committed in giving education to our children and providing space for Humana School to operate, which give children of migrant workers access to education,” said Isham.

Mare, who is working at the company’s creche, said workers in the estate were very lucky for having a proper place for their children to stay while working in the field.

Previously, mothers with small kids, would bring them to the field because there was no one at home to look after the little ones. She said it was dangerous, especially when their work involved handling chemicals.

“The environment in the plantation has changed compared to the first time we arrived. We are happier now, because the minimum wage for local workers also applies to foreign workers.

“We have been staying here for more than 23 years and we are looking forward to serve the company as long as it needs us. What more can we ask for when everything is provided here,” she added.

In Sabahmas estates, its management encourages workers to celebrate Hari Raya, Christmas and other celebrations together to ensure the locals and foreigners have good relationships.

by Mariah Doksil.

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Abduction in Sabah waters still a concerning issue

Wednesday, September 13th, 2017

KOTA KINABALU: The abduction of crew members from ships in the Sulu-Celebes Sea and waters off eastern Sabah is still a concerning issue in the state, despite a decrease in the number of reported cases.

A total of seven incidents (comprising of three actual abductions and four attempts) were reported from January to April 2017.

Regional Cooperation Agreement on Combating Piracy and Armed Robbery against Ships in Asia (ReCAAP) Deputy Director Nicholas Teo G B said that most of the cases in Sabah involved tugboats, something that is uncommon in other areas.

“The nature of crime in Sabah would usually involve tugboats because it is the main type of vessel here, which is a bit unique, because in the other areas, they usually use oil tankers and so on.

“In the past, there were numerous cases of tugboats being hijacked and taken. Thus, we have been working with the Sabah Shipowners Association (SSSA) to address this issue,” Nicholas said when met at the Anti-Piracy and Sea Robbery Forum 2017 here at Hotel N5, Penampang yesterday.

He reiterated that, since March 2016 (when the first case was reported by ReCAAP in the Sulu Sea), the number of abductions has decreased.

“Up to this date, with enforcement from the territorial state and the land operation that is happening in the Philippines, we actually did not see any of these cases reoccurring since April.

“While the crime rate has dropped, there must be no room for complacency as we do not know how this crime is going to evolve until it has been completely eradicated.

“In the meantime, we have put in place the enforcement parts with the law enforcement as well as the precautionary parts in looking at vulnerable areas,” Nicholas added.

As of June 30, 2017, 18 crew are still being held in captivity out of the 59 crew abducted since March 2016.

The ReCAAP Information Sharing Centre reiterates its advice that all ships are to re-route from the area, whenever possible. Otherwise, ship masters and crew are strongly urged to exercise enhanced vigilance while transiting the area and to report immediately to the relevant centers.

He asserted that everyone can play a part in countering this issue. He said that civilians can help simply by notifying the relevant authorities in the event they witness the commencement of suspicious activity.

In Asia as a whole, a total of 36 incidents of piracy and armed robbery against ships (comprising of 30 actual incidents and six attempts) were reported during the first half of 2017.

The figure showed a decrease by 22% compared to the same period in 2016, whereby a total of 46 incidents were reported.

“Every year, aside from our normal engagements, we try to organize this event with Sarawak and the SSSA to further our collaboration with them.

“As I have also mentioned earlier, maritime-related crime always evolves. Through this collaboration, we will be able to understand the evolvement better. We will work with other inter-ministry agencies to establish a suppression for this crime,” Nicholas said when asked about the purpose of the forum.

by Neil Brian Joseph.

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One of stolen plaques irreplaceable

Saturday, September 2nd, 2017

Kota Kinabalu: One of the two bronze plaques at Labuan’s Surrender Point that was stolen recently was a sculptured masterpiece showing the Australian 9th Division invasion landings at Tarakan, Balikpapan (both in Kalimantan) and Labuan in World War 2.

The other plaque about the Japanese surrender was stolen for the second time.

“Both have been completely removed, leaving only the concrete base behind,” war historian Lynette Silver told Daily Express.

Lynette believed the theft happened between Aug. 10 and Aug. 24 since they were still in place when she visited the site in early August. A police report was filed.

“The commemorative plaque can be replaced but the sculpture, I expect, is a one off,” Lynette said.

The reason she fears it might be lost for good is that the sculpture is a shining cast bronze bas relief master piece which combines age old casting techniques with modern state of the art technology as an investment in permanent timeless memorial and probably hard to replicate.

“My groups were always very interested to see it, as it so clearly showed the landings and excellent text,” she added .

“Everyone is shocked though the irony is crime rate in Labuan is very low,” Lynette who suspected that it was the work of scrap metal thieves.

She said the Australian periodontist, Ross Bastian, who did the plaque also did 140 to the tune of A$700,000 (RM2m plus). About A$100,000 came from Bastian’s own pocket while raising the rest to deliver his private mission.

The sculpture showed the relief of Borneo island cast in bronze was to commemorate Australians in battle in 20 countries.

In one interview, Bastian said: “I felt that rather than writing books putting bronze information around the world to mark significant events in Australian history was a very practical way of informing both our people and particularly people of foreign countries which Australia’s role is their history.”

by Kan Yaw Chong.

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A possible new Bornean hero

Saturday, July 8th, 2017
Man of distinction:Abang Johari’s view of Sarawak is complex, acknowledging the state as a crucial part of the Federation, but one that retains a political and cultural character as far removed as its geography from Putrajaya.

Man of distinction:Abang Johari’s view of Sarawak is complex, acknowledging the state as a crucial part of the Federation, but one that retains a political and cultural character as far removed as its geography from Putrajaya.

The Sarawak Chief Minister plans to preserve his state’s special identity, and stresses that it has a different culture from Peninsular Malaysia.

SARAWAK Chief Minister Datuk Amar Abang Johari Tun Openg is a sort of Bornean hero to many of my fellow Sabahans.

When Abang Jo, as he is fondly known in Sarawak, announced on Saturday that he would send a team of lawyers to London to search for and study any references related to the state’s rights under the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63), many Sabahans hailed him as a hero.

I first saw Abang Jo in action during the 2001 Sarawak polls. He was campaigning to defend Satok, a state seat in Kuching. Even at the time, he was mentioned as one of the Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB) leaders who might take over from Tun Abdul Taib Mahmud as CM.

And yet he didn’t grab the CM post, but waited for fate to give it to him.

In 2014, when Taib retired, Abang Johari conceded that Tan Sri Adenan Satem would take over as Sarawak Chief Minister.

“When Adenan was chosen by Taib to take over from him, Abang Johari took it calmly and gave immediate support to Adenan,” recalled Kota Samarahan municipal council chairman Datuk Peter Minos, who has been with PBB since the 1960s.

“Abang Jo was deputy president of PBB and Adenan was publicity chief, but his loyalty to PBB are second to none.

“PBB is in his family’s blood. His dad (Tun Abang Openg Abang Sapiee, who was a former Sarawak governor) helped create PBB.”

On Jan 11, Adenan died and Abang Johari took over as Chief Minister.

Last week, I was in Kuching to interview the 66-year-old politician, with my Sarawakian colleagues Sharon Ling and Geryl Ogilvy. The Star Media Group interviewed Abang Johari at his residence in Petra Jaya, adjacent to Kuching city.

The first question I posed was: “Is it a blessing or a curse for Sarawak to be Barisan Nasional’s fixed deposit?”

“The question depends on the response from the people,” he said. “But so far Sarawakians know we need a very stable government.”

Abang Johari went on to talk about the cultural differences between Sarawak and Kuala Lumpur (which is how Sarawakians and Sabahans refer to Peninsular Malaysia).

“That is why Tok Nan (the nickname of Adenan) banned certain personalities from entering Sarawak. I will continue the same thing, as the culture in Peninsular Malaysia is different,” he said.

“For instance, our religious tolerance is high. We don’t have these so-called religious … Adenan used ‘bigots’ … to really spoil the way we live here.

“In terms of concept, we follow BN’s concept but we must preserve our special Sarawak identity.

“We are lucky our past leaders did not give away all Immigration power. Until today we want to preserve that power so that we can make use of it.

“If we feel somebody may jeopardise the racial relations among us, we will use that power,” he said.

Abang Johari continued: “So, to answer your question, it is neither one (a blessing or curse). It depends on how Sarawak manages itself.”

“Is Sarawak a country or a state?” I asked.

“It is very difficult for me to answer your question because under the Malaysia Agreement, there were four parties that signed it,” said Abang Johari, referring to Malaya, Sarawak, North Borneo and Singapore.

“I used to say (Datuk Seri) Najib Tun Razak and I have a stake in it, because his father signed it and my father signed it.

“Definitely, we have to comply with what is stated in the Malaysia Agreement,” he said, referring to Tun Abdul Razak Hussein and Tun Abang Openg.

(On July 9, 1963, the Malaysia Agreement was concluded between Britain, the Federation of Malaya, North Borneo, Sarawak and Singapore, which led to the formation of Malaysia.)

“Of course, through the years – knowingly or unknowingly – our people also agreed to give back certain areas to KL, but we have to protect our side.

“To give you a point to answer your question”, said Abang Jo, “the other states in Peninsular Malaysia manage their states based on the executive council system.”

“They have no ministers. Only Sabah and Sarawak have a Cabinet system with ministers.

“When we formed Malaysia together with Singapore, we had our own Cabinet system. If you study it from that angle, we are separate. We are only subjects under KL because we are a federation.

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Indigenous people of Sabah, Taiwan share similarities

Friday, June 16th, 2017


Dr Puad (left) and Chen signing the LoI as Dr Low ( second row, fifth right) looks on.

KOTA KINABALU: The indigenous people of Sabah and Taiwan share lots of similarities in their cultural heritage.

And both sides have decided to carry out studies to establish the facts through a collaboration between Borneo Heritage Research Unit (BoHRU), Faculty of Humanities, Arts and Heritage (FHAH) of Universiti Malaysia Sabah and Department of Indigenous Affairs (DIA), Taoyuan City Government, Taiwan.

The cooperation between UMS and DIA were forged when both sides signed a letter of intent (LoI). During the simple signing ceremony, UMS was represented by FHAH Deputy Dean, Dr Mohd Puad Bebit while Deputy Director-General, Chen Cheng-Hsiung signed on behalf of DIA at UMS yesterday.

BoHRU Head Associate Professor, Dr Low Kok On said the letter was just a beginning, and would get to know session before they follow up with a memorandum of understanding agreement.

“We understand that both of the indigenous people have a lot in common with their cultures however no actual studies were undertaken.

“So, now we want to carry out the studies and do the comparison because whatever we heard so far are only theories as we don’t have evidence to prove it,” said Dr Low.

“Through this cooperation we hope to collect the evidence so that we can preserve this cultural heritage for the future generations,” added Dr Low.

Chen said they were on a mission to conduct fact-finding as their objective is to establish a museum in Taiwan to preserve the cultural heritage of the indigenous people.


Detailed study for LRT system in KK: Mayor

Sunday, June 11th, 2017

Kota Kinabalu: The Government is looking into a study for a Light Rail Transit (LRT) system in the city, said Mayor Datuk Yeo Boon Hai (pic).

“However, there must be effectiveness and economic returns. If it is not economically viable, I feel the project would not have any benefit also.

“So let the Federal Government through the Economic Planning Unit do a detailed study first to deliberate not only for the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) but also the LRT. This (study) will commence soon.

“Then we will look at the reports and evaluate the effectiveness of implementing the LRT in the city.”

Yeo said this to the media, Thursday, in reply to the statement by Inanam Assemblyman Dr Roland Chia that the city needs LRT service.

He noted that Chia’s statement on the LRT was only Chia’s personal opinion as there was also a need to take into account various other evaluation factors besides population size.

On April 11, Chia insisted that Kota Kinabalu needs to have LRT or Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) service to overcome the city’s traffic congestion, and that it did not have to wait until the city’s population reaches one million.

He noted that previously, the Government had said there was no plan to provide the LRT or MRT service to the public as the population of Kota Kinabalu had not reached one million.

Chia said many other cities such as in Australia and the United Kingdom provided the service to the public on the basis of need, not on population size.

Chia thus urged the State Government to do the same and proposed a review of the Railway Ordinance so that legislation could be widened to incorporate the LRT which is needed to overcome traffic congestion.

On May 23, it was also reported that neighbouring Sarawak was looking to finance its own LRT project with services linking Kuching, Samarahan and Serian without direct funding from the Federal Government.

Chief Minister Datuk Amar Abang Johari Openg said the full public transport system covering the three divisions will be an integrated one, with the LRT as the core and complemented by the BRT, taxis and cars.

by Neil Chan.

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Filipino group wanted to use force to claim Sabah

Thursday, June 8th, 2017

Putra Jaya: The nine Filipinos who were convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment for their involvement in the Lahad Datu intrusion tried to use force to claim Sabah as theirs, said Deputy Public Prosecutor Wan Shaharuddin Wan Ladin.

DPP Wan Shaharuddin said there were negotiations between the Malaysian security forces and that leaflets had been distributed around Kampung Tanduo in Lahad Datu, Sabah, from helicopter asking the intruders to lay down their arms and to surrender to the police.

“The negotiations went sour. They chose not to leave and follow the instructions of the authorities.

Instead they were ready for bloodshed and war,” said Wan Shaharuddin.

“Thus, they should be sentenced to death for their role in waging war against the Yang Dipertuan Agong,” added DPP Wan Shaharuddin in hearings before a three-man Court of Appeal panel chaired by Justice Mohd Zawawi Salleh.

Justices Abdul Rahman Sebli and Kamardin Hashim were also on the panel.

The panel is hearing the appeal filed against the sentences handed down by Kota Kinabalu High Court judge Justice Stephen Chung last year to nine Filipinos for waging war against the Yang di-Pertuan Agong under Section 121 of the Penal Code.

The nine are Julham Rashid, 70, Virgilio Nemar Patulada @ Mohammad Alam Patulada, 53, Salib Akhmad Emali, 64, Tani Lahad Dahi, 64, Basad Manuel, 42, the son of the late self proclaimed Sultan Sulu Jamalul Kiram, Datu Amirbahar Hushin Kiram, 54, Atik Hussin Abu Bakar, 46, Al Wazir Osman @ Abdul, 62, and Ismail Yasin, 77.

Meanwhile, DPP Awang Armadajaya Awang Mahmud who is also the Deputy Head of the Appellate and Trial Division, submitted that it was not a case where a village boy killed another village boy.

DPP Awang Armadajaya said this case would result in war between two countries as it involved the sovereignty of the country and its people.

Nine members of the Malaysian security forces were killed in the intrusion, which occurred between Feb 12 and Apr 10 2013. He said the appeal proceedings were held in Putrajaya due to security concerns.

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Still mixed feelings 41 years on

Thursday, June 8th, 2017

Kota Kinabalu: The 41st anniversay of the Double Six tragedy that claimed the lives of first Chief Minister Tun Fuad Stephens and several members of his Cabinet, among others, saw next-of-kin calling for closure but the opposition saying any closure is possible only if the Government releases the full report into the June 6, 1976 Nomad air crash.

Upko Secretary General Datuk Donald Mojuntin who lost his dad Datuk Peter Mojuntin in the crash urged that the tragedy not be politicised further as the affected families have already come to closure on the matter.

“I hope this matter is not politicised and from what I have seen the last few days there seem to be a lot of questions and answers.

“It is my hope that people will come to commemorate their passing positively. Whatever that comes out from it must be positive.

“As much as each member of the families would like to know what happened that day, I think the families have come to a closure on the issue but a lot of people still seem to be asking us the same questions,” he said, after a wreath laying ceremony and visit to the memorial gallery at Grace Point, Sembulan.

Stephens, along with Finance Minister Salleh Sulong, Minister of Local Government and Housing Peter Mojuntin, Works and Communication Minister Chong Thien Vun, Asst Minister to the CM Datuk Darius Binion and several other top government officials were flying from Labuan back to Kota Kinabalu when their Nomad plane crashed into Sembulan waters.

After investigations, then Deputy Communication Minister Mohd Ali M Sharif announced that the crash was due to “human error” but the full findings were classified as a state secret under the Official Secrets Act.

Donald said he was happy that the memorial ceremony by City Hall and State Government is continuing and should be so because the leaders in the tragedy were some of the State’s pioneer political leaders.

“I was only 11 then and I remember my dad as a father. As a politician I did not know him actually.

“But from what I have read and heard from elders he was a great man including Stephens, Datuk Darius Binion, Datuk Chong Thien Vun and Datuk Salleh Sulong (and others).

“They were all good people that tried their best for the State and tried to represent the respective races in the State with the greatest of dignity.

“Unfortunately once they were voted in as the government, over a month later God saw it fit to give them a rest from the world.

“But as I said earlier we must take the positives out of it. We must look at all the efforts that they untiringly underwent to make sure that the Sabah that we have today exists.

“If not for them the political awareness and involvement and relevance of Sabah will not be as great as it is now.

“So there are a lot of positives to be taken out of it and my hope is that the younger generations will come here and get to know a little bit of their own history by visiting the gallery and perhaps get inspired and be great leaders in the own right in the years to come.

Gabungan Sabah members, consisting of Parti Solidariti Tanah Airku, Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP), Parti Harapan Rakyat Sabah and Parti Perpaduan Rakyat Sabah also visited the Double Six Monument to remember those who perished.

by Neil Chan.

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