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Double Six: Harris threatens to sue
Published on: Friday, June 14, 2019

KOTA KINABALU: Tan Sri Harris Mohd Salleh (pic) has challenged those who insinuate that he may have something to do with the Nomad air crash or Double Six Tragedy on June 6, 1976 which claimed the lives of 11 people, including Chief Minister Tun Fuad Stephens, to accuse him directly.

This is so that the matter could be settled in court and failure to do so would expose them of being “irresponsible rabble-rousers who do not deserve the positions they are currently holding.”

His Private Secretary Azman Maruzi said the former Chief Minister has asked his lawyers to look into the legal implication of statements regarding the matter following the June 6 commemoration which were “mischievous”.

The former Chief Minister was referring to remarks by Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Christina Liew and Sunduvan Sabah Chairman Aloysius Danim Siap which, Azman said, were tantamount to accusing Harris of being implicated in the tragedy. Harris was Deputy CM at the time of the crash.

Liew had stated that she will ask the Chief Minister to declassify the crash report made by the Australian and Malaysian Governments on the crash that happened barely a month after Parti Berjaya toppled Usno in the State elections.

She had said there were calls to have the report declassified and published to remove the shroud of mystery surrounding the tragedy and also suggested that it should be re-investigated.  

  “Liew should just ask the Chief Minister to appoint a law firm in Australia to carry out research at the Australian National Archives and send a copy of the Report to the Sabah Government…this may cost only AUD$50,000,” Azman said. 

 Azman said Aloysius had implied that Harris did not publish the report as he was implicated in it and that there was a conspiracy to kill Tun Fuad and others.

 “If Aloysius has some evidence on the so-called conspiracy, he should report it to the police. Or else he, too, can be considered an accessory in the ‘conspiracy’ because he is withholding evidence,” Azman said.

He advised that before making wild statements, these leaders read and understand the facts that were already widely published both in Australia and Sabah.

Both the Australian and Malaysian Governments had investigated the crash and compiled reports as required by the laws of both countries.

“For reasons only known to both Governments, the report was never given to the State Government and never published.  

“However, it had been widely publicised that the State of Sabah paid some compensation to the families of the crash victims,” Azman said.  

He said Liew should know that the documents can be de-classified and published after 21 years. The facts that have already been widely published both in Australia and Sabah are:

1] Australian TV report by an investigative reporter titled “Lies In The Sky”. Australian TV 7 aired the report in 1995;

2] The book “Tun Fuad – The Sabahan published in 1995;

3] Malaysian Government statement in parliament

4] High Court case Suit No: K22-128 of 2010-1 which went to the Federal Court

5] Advertisement in the Daily Express on 26th October 2018 calling upon Datuk Jimmy Wong and senior SAPP politicians to accuse Harris Mohd Salleh directly. There has been no response from any of these so-called politicians to this day.

 “The High Court also found that the statements were defamatory of the plaintiff. The learned trial judge found that on the surface, the two statements looked innocent and harmless – they merely call for a reinvestigation of the tragedy.

 “However, he found that ‘the sting lay beneath the surface’.

“He held that read between the lines, and in the context of the speech by Tengku Razaleigh, the first defendant’s call for reinvestigation was in pith and substance a call to investigate the plaintiff for a possible involvement in a criminal act.

“According to the learned trial judge although there was nothing wrong for the first defendant to call for a reinvestigation of the tragedy, when he insinuated that the plaintiff had blood in his hand without making any attempt to verify the truth of the alleged new information revealed by Tengku Razaleigh, the first defendant had crossed the line separating fair comment and malice afterthought,” Azman recalled.

  He said Liew and Aloysius should avail themselves of these documents before going any further.

 “Their implication that Harris is a very powerful man who could stop the Australian and Malaysian governments from making the report public are absurd, infantile and insulting to the governments and their leaders,” he said.

 Azman further said that any democratic government, particularly the Australian and Malaysian governments, would not stoop so low as to cooperate with Harris to block these reports, adding that the Australian government would probably even have called on the Malaysian government to prosecute Harris.

 Azman further contended that there were nine CMs after Harris who could have pursued the matter and that the most vocal were Tan Sri Joseph Pairin and Datuk Yong Teck Lee but none of them did. 

 “Yong who was CM for 730 days and had full control of the State Archives did not see fit to publish the report of the Double Six Report”.

 Azman said Harris also wished to put on record that all nine who were killed in the tragedy were his friends and supporters. 

 “The late Tun Mustapha was his mentor since the colonial days. Mustapha and Fuad were instrumental to bring Harris into politics and was privileged to have two honourable members of the British North Borneo legislative Council and executive Council.

 “Without these Sons of Sabah there would be no Malaysia and Harris would have remained a civil servant,” he said, adding that Fuad’s widow Toh Puan Rahimah can vouch for these statements.

 



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