DATUK Patahiyah Ismail, first mayor of Penang Island City Council, has come a long way. She started out as a Penang Municipal Council (MPPP) architect in 1985.
Assigned to the MPPP Building Department, she was soon promoted to chief architect.
Then, in 1992, she took up the post of Building Department director.
While holding her post as the department director, she was also elected as a member of a committee tasked to obtain World Heritage Site recognition for the city of George Town.
Her dedication and efforts proved fruitful as George Town was given heritage status by Unesco on July 7, 2008.
Patahiyah added another feather to her cap when she became the MPPP secretary in June 2009 before her appointment as president on March 1, 2010.
She also holds positions on the board of directors of Penang Hill and Penang World Heritage Incorporated and internationally as a member of World Heritage City and Tourism Promotion Organisation for Asia Pacific and Citynet.