Saturday, December 3, 2011

Razaleigh already inside plane and strapped but Harris invited him out!

Why didn't Harris invited Razaleigh much earlier, before Razaleigh was inside the plane that crashed and killed the Sabah's Chief Minister and his strongmen?

It smells fishy!

Razaleigh's revelation merits probe, says former State Sec

Published on: Thursday, November 24, 2011

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Kota Kinabalu: The High Court here heard the revelation by Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah that the then Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Harris Mohd Salleh's last moment invitation to him to leave the plane saved his life, merits an investigation.

Tan Sri Simon Sipaun, 73, a former State Secretary, suggested this to the court when he testified before Judge Dato' Abdul Rahman Sebli.

Sipaun also said that based on the new fact he felt that a re-investigation would help determine the truth behind the tragedy that killed Tun Fuad Stephens and all those on board the Nomad aircraft on June 6, 1976.

He agreed with the defendants' counsel that the best way to find out the truth is to have a tribunal to investigate into the causes of the air crash if it is one of the possible means of knowing the truth.

Sipaun was testifying as the defendants' fourth witness during re-examination in the hearing of a suit against Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP) and its President Datuk Yong Teck Lee which was brought by former Chief Minister Tan Sri Harris Salleh against the defendants for insinuating that he was involved in causing the Double Six tragedy on June 6, 1976.

Harris is claiming general damages, aggravated and exemplary damages of not less than RM50 million from Yong, who he named as first defendant and SAPP as second defendant, for libel.

He is represented by counsel Yunof Maringking and Trevor Kenneth Maringking, while Yong and SAPP are represented by counsel Datuk Simon Shim and Flora Dius.

Earlier, in his examination-in-chief, Sipaun told the court that on April 2, 2010 he had chaired a forum in which Razaleigh was the speaker on the topic of "Minyak Sabah Siapa Punya".

He said Razaleigh basically gave some background and information leading to the formation of Petronas and the Petroleum Development Act 1974 and that something in the course of the latter's speech caught his attention.

"It was his opening remarks where he told the audience that every time he comes to Sabah, he is reminded of the June 6, 1976 tragedy.

"However, what struck me most was when he said that he was already inside the plane together with the late Tun Fuad about to fly to Kota Kinabalu from Labuan when Harris came inside the plane and invited him to join him and go to Banggi, Kudat instead and to him that's how his life was saved because of the invitation.

"Personally, I found this revelation by Tengku most significant because this was the first time that I heard it happened that way," he said, adding the said revelation is a very important piece of information and that up to now he still does not know the real causes of the accident.

He also agreed with the first defendant's call for re-investigation into the air crash.

Sipaun, who was Permanent Secretary to the Ministry of Communication and Works at the time of the air crash, said he had never seen any official report on the cause of the accident or the report of the coroner regarding the accident or any official information regarding the accident or the cause of accident.

Meanwhile, during cross-examination by the plaintiff's counsel, Sipaun said he could not recall whether there was an investigation or no investigation on the air crash.

To a question, Sipaun said the gist of the new development to the story was the fact that Razaleigh was already inside the plane, all strapped up ready to depart but invited at the last minute to go elsewhere.

Counsel: Do you agree that your support for the call for re-investigation on the incident because of Tengku Razaleigh's revelation that the plaintiff's last moment invitation to him to leave the plane saved his life?

Sipaun: I am supportive of the case being revisited on the ground that new information which has not been available before has become available.

Counsel: Can you be specific what you meant by new information, which has not been available before becoming available?

Sipaun: The fact that Razaleigh was already seated in the plane together with the late Tun Fuad Stephen and the rest, and was asked to get off the plane at the last minute. This is something I have never heard before.

The trial will continue on Dec 5, 6, 21 and 22.

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