First Chinese woman DCM
Published on: Friday, May 18, 2018
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Kota Kinabalu: Re-elected Api Api Assemblywoman Christina Liew has broken a 25-year jinx to be the first Chinese woman to be appointed Deputy Chief Minister, and the second Sabah woman to hold this post after former PBS Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Ariah Tengku Ahmad.In 1993, Ariah, then Kawang Assemblywoman cum Minister of Social Services, created history when she was appointed Deputy Chief Minister by then Chief Minister Datuk (now Tan Sri) Joseph Pairin Kitingan in conjunction with the formalisation of a PBS-Usno Coalition Government which only lasted until February 1994.

Liew, who was also elected as Member of Parliament for Tawau in the recently-concluded 14th General Election, described her appointment as a victory of the women in Sabah in a new exciting chapter for Sabah.

"I would like to express my gratitude to the people of Sabah for the mandate and the privilege to serve them in this new role. I am also encouraged by what this appointment means to women in general.

"It is 2018 and we are now beginning to see more representation for women in positions of leadership and influence. I hope these appointments for myself and three other capable women as assistant ministers will serve as a message to all women everywhere that there is no field, avenue or industry that is off limits to them.

"We can step up to the task, and we should participate in nation-building. I will discharge my duties to the best of my abilities," she said.

The assistant ministers are Kapayan Assemblywoman Jannie Lasimbang (Ministry of Law and State Native Affairs), Moyog Assemblywoman Jenifer Lasimbang (Ministry of Education and Innovation) and Kunak Assemblywoman Norazlinah Arif (Ministry of Health and People's Well-being).

Liew said she was humbled and energised at the same time by the strong will and effort the country as a whole has invested in bringing about this phenomenal change. "It is not just a Pakatan Harapan (PH) victory; this is our victory as a rakyat. We have proven that together we have the courage to stand up and demand the kind of government we desire-one that is transparent, clean, just and efficient."

She was also aware that while some of the voters might have voted for her based on her 20 plus years of service, many had voted for her more because they rejected the kind of politics the Barisan Nasional (BN) has promulgated over the last few decades.

"This is a message I will take to heart; it is important to keep humble and to understand that the people reject selfish leaders and they are empowered to choose the kind of leadership they want.

This will be a constant reminder to me, to serve in the way we have promised," she added. - Mary Chin


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