KOTA KINABALU : “The Double 6 Tragedy should not only be remembered as a tragic event but as a history changing tragedy and be remembered and used to chart Sabah’s future course” said Datuk Dr. Jeffrey Kitingan, STAR Sabah Chief, after attending a memorial service organized by STAR Sabah at the Double 6 Monument in Sembulan yesterday to pay their respect and tribute to the fallen heroes in the tragic plane crash.
The plane crash had horrifically claimed 11 lives including the late Tun Fuad Stephens and 3 of his senior Ministers and their loss is still felt today not only by their families and loved ones but by all Sabahans.
More tragically, the tragedy changed the course of Sabah and brought about dire consequences in which all Sabahans are still suffering from until today.
We need to reflect on some of the events like the signing of the Sabah Oil Agreement a short 8 days after the crash which until today altered Sabah’s wealth inheritance and led to a massive 95% loss of oil revenues and wholesale failure of development.
As a result, today, we see that Sabah lost RM17.88 billlion in oil revenue in 2012 (with Sabah getting only a pittance RM941.25 million) and became the poorest State in Malaysia from 2010.
From once a rich and proud nation in 1970, it is now a colony of Malaya and its riches and wealth plundered to finance overall development in Malaya. While back home, we not only suffer the ignominy and shame of abject poverty caused by leaders from Kuala Lumpur, lack of supply of clean treated water, lack of basic amenities and a total abandonment and failure to build a proper sealed road network throughout the State.
More misfortune and untold loss was to come after the tragedy.
Sabah ended up being downgraded from nationhood status to being the 12th State in Malaysia in August 1976 and our beloved Head of State downgraded to “Yang DiPertua Negeri” from “Yang DiPertua Negara”.
Sabah’s security and sovereignty were then mortgaged and compromised; the demographics of the natives population totally changed forever and political franchise usurped by the wanton issuance of dubious ICs and later MyKads to unqualified foreigners openly declared to be born in Sabah when they were not. The manipulation was later magnified and multiplied by the so-called “Project IC/Mahathir” and “Ops Durian Buruk”.
Lamenting and blaming it as a catastrophic misfortune and hoping for prevention of similar tragedies will be of no help to the future of Sabah.
We need to acknowledge the mistakes of the past and learn from the painful and bitter lessons of the tragic Double 6 and its consequences. We need to remember the tragedy to avoid making the same mistakes and at the same time to rectify whatever past mistakes and use the lesson learnt to chart Sabah’s future.
“Sabahans must learn to love and protect Sabah, our homeland our home and endear it to our heart and to save and preserve our beloved Sabah for our future generations” concluded Dr. Jeffrey.