Kota Kinabalu to have first woman mayor?

KOTA KINABALU: A woman is widely tipped to become the city's new mayor with incumbent Datuk Nordin Siman on the way out as his contract ends on Dec 31.

Speculation is rife that the city's director general Noorliza Awang Alip may take over as Kota Kinabalu mayor on Jan 1.

However, state government officials are tight-lipped over the matter.

Meanwhile, an official letter from state secretary Datuk Seri Safar Untong inviting career civil servant Noorliza to receive an appointment letter from the Chief Minister on Monday (Dec 28) has been shared in the social media.

The letter, however, did not state or indicate what position was being offered to her.

State government officials, who declined to be named, have indicated that the position was likely the mayor's post.

Nordin, when contacted, confirmed that his contract would end on Dec 31, but said he did not know who his successor would be.

"I've not been told who will be succeed me," said Nordin, who headed the city for two years from 2018 after taking over from Datuk Yee Boon Hai.

If appointed, Noorliza, 55, will be the first woman and the sixth mayor of the Kota Kinabalu.

Earlier this month, the Sabah Independent Candidates Alliance called on the new state government to appoint a woman as the mayor.

Saying that it was high time, Alliance member Melanie Chia said this would reflect well on the Sabah government, as it would be seen as making a pivotal move in boosting women’s empowerment.

“Women’s empowerment is a central element of growth and prosperity for the nation, and women’s participation in the development process is crucial, ” said Chia, a long-time advocate of gender equality and women’s empowerment.

She suggested that Noorliza was a “very capable” civil servant.

“Noorliza’s vast administrative experience and people-oriented attitude will make her an effective mayor, ” she said on Dec 8.

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