KOTA KINABALU: The city's first woman Mayor Noorliza Awang Alip will have her hands full as she officially takes over the position on Jan 1.
The 55-year-old will have to work with the authorities to check the spread of Covid-19, resolve squatters' problems and address abandoned projects, among other things.
Noorliza took over a day earlier from incumbent Datuk Nordin Siman whose contract ended on Thursday (Dec 31) in a simple ceremony.
Speaking to reporters for the first time in her new role, she spoke about reservations on taking up the job but was encouraged by her senior colleagues like Nordin.
"I have been carrying out work for the city for many year. I accepted the role, I cannot let down those who believed and have high expectations," said Noorliza, who joined the Kota Kinabalu Municipal Council in 1996 before it was made a city in 2000.
She said she believed that with a good and strong workforce the city would be able to meet the changing aspirations of the 580,000 residents who are spread over an area of 360 sqkm.
"This itself will be one of the main challenges for us," she said.
She added that putting in place new by-laws and resolving issues pertaining to abandoned buildings were among the issues she would be addressing.
She also said they were looking at allowing certain businesses, like tuition centres and cosmestics, to work out of homes.
She said she would also reorganise the central market in the city.
"We plan to have more regulations to solve nuisance issues faced by the rate payers," said Noorliza, adding that she would look into non-functioning residential housing managements to help the people.
Noorliza is the second woman to be made a mayor in Malaysia. The first female mayor was appointed in Petaling Jaya.