GEORGE TOWN: Datuk Patahiyah Ismail (pic) has been sworn-in as the first mayor of the Penang Island City Council (MBPP).
The historic ceremony witnessed by invited dignitaries saw the arrival of Yang di-Pertua Negri Tun Abdul Rahman Abbas and his consort Toh Puan Majimor Shariff at 10.30am Tuesday, followed by the singing of the Negaraku and state anthem, Untuk Negeri Kita.
Abdul Rahman was then handed the declaration letter by Yang di-Pertuan Agong Tuanku Abdul Halim Mu'adzam Shah on Penang's island city council status.
The letter was handed over to him by Urban Wellbeing, Housing and Local Government secretary-general Datuk Seri Arpah Abdul Razak.
The ceremony, which took about 20 minutes and was held at Anjung Mutiara, Seri Mutiara, was followed with Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng reading Patahiyah's appointment as mayor before Abdul Rahman handed the appointment letter to her.
Patahiyah then took her oath as the first mayor of Penang Island before being presented with the Chain of the Office and "cokmar".
George Town was the first town in the country to be given city status by way of a Royal Charter by Queen Elizabeth II on Jan 1, 1957.
However, when the George Town City Council was merged with the Penang Rural District Council to form a local government management board in 1974, it lost that status.
When the Local Government Act 1976 was enforced two years later, the local government management board was replaced with the Penang Municipal Council (MPPP).
Talk of upgrading George Town’s status started in 2001 under the then Barisan Nasional administration before a formal application was submitted by the Pakatan Rakyat state government in 2010.
The Cabinet approved the application on Nov 7.
Patahiyah was also the first woman to be appointed council president – as head of the Penang Municipal Council – in 2010.