Sabah hopes to regain control of oil resources, 48 years after Double Six air crash

State lost half of its cabinet and oil rights in one day, says Jeffrey Kitingan.

(The Vibes) – SABAH marked the 48th anniversary of the Double Six air tragedy with hopes that the state will one day regain control over its oil and gas resources.

State Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Seri Jeffrey Kitingan believes Sabah leaders were coerced into surrendering the state’s oil rights when representatives pushing for the deal arrived in Sabah eight days after the air crash.

On June 6, 1976, an Australian-made aircraft carrying half of the Sabah cabinet crashed near Sembulan, Kota Kinabalu, killing everyone on board.

Among the victims were Sabah chief minister Tun Fuad Stephens.

“This is a sad day for Sabah, not just for the families of the victims, but for the entire state.

“What makes it even sadder was that they were returning from Labuan after attending a meeting to sign an oil agreement.

“The whole matter remains a mystery today, and Sabah still wants answers. For the families, they lost their fathers,” Jeffrey said after laying a wreath at the Double Six Monument in Kota Kinabalu today.

He said the state lost half of its cabinet and oil rights in one day.

“I ask myself, why on June 14 (eight days after the crash), representatives (pushing for the oil agreement) came to Sabah to ask state leaders to sign the agreement.

“This indicates that the discussion in Labuan did not lead to an agreement. Why was the oil agreement not signed there? Why did they push for the signing while Sabah was still mourning.”

Jeffrey expressed deep disappointment over the lopsided deal that Sabah was forced to sign.

The agreement states that Sabah must surrender its oil ito the federal government in return for a 5% royalty.