Kota Kinabalu: A gallery is being built to commemorate the lives of the late Tun Fuad Stephens and several others who perished in the “Double Six” air crash near its monument at Grace Point, Sembulan, here.
The RM900,000 State-funded gallery due to be completed by July 15 is tentatively scheduled to be launched on Sept. 16, the day Sabah together with Sarawak, Singapore and Malaya formed Malaysia in 1963. However, Singapore left the Federation in 1965.
The gallery would be managed by City Hall as another tourist attraction in the State capital.
State Assistant Finance Minister, Donald Mojuntin, who lauded the setting up of the gallery, called on family members of the victims to liaise with City Hall to provide any memorabilia of their loved ones who died in the crash.
Eleven people, including Fuad who was then Chief Minister for about a month following the elections, were killed when their plane went down at Sembulan on June 6, 1976.
The others on the flight were Ministers Datuk Peter Mojuntin (Local Government and Housing), Datuk Salleh Sulong (Finance), Datuk Chong Thain Vun (Communication and Works), Datuk Darius Binion (Finance Ministry Permanent Secretary), Datuk Wahid Andu, Dr Syed Hussein Wafa, assigned bodyguard Corp. Mohd Said, Ishak Atan (Tengku Razaleigh’s personal secretary), pilot Captain Ghani Nathan and Fuad’s eldest son, Johari.
“It is a commendable move to build the gallery as a way of appreciating and remembering the leaders who passed away in tragedy,” said Donald, who is also the eldest son of the late Mojuntin, at the anniversary of the tragedy here, Saturday.
“It also provides us the opportunity to share the old photos of our late beloved and other memorabilia with the public and visitors who will patronise the gallery.”
He said the gallery would also hold tourism potential in that it can attract tourists and visitors from other states to Sabah.
Among those who attend the memorial Saturday were State Local Government and Housing Assistant Minister Datuk Edward Yong Oui Fah who is also Tanjung Aru Assemblyman, City Hall Director-General Yeo Boon Hai representing Mayor Datuk Iliyas Ibrahim, Kota Kinabalu Deputy Police Chief Supt Rowell Marong, Senator Datuk Maijol Mahap and families of the late Tun Fuad Stephens, the late Datuk Salleh Sulong, the late Datuk Peter Mojuntin, the late Datuk Chong Thain Vun and the late Datuk Darius Binion.
Fuad’s widow, Toh Puan Rahimah, was not present due to illness but her two daughters, Faridah and Fauziah attended.
News from Daily Express