KOTA KINABALU- Sabah’s first Chinese female Deputy Chief Minister Christina Liew is set to become a political dynamo.
Under Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal’s Cabinet, Liew is the first Chinese woman to hold the post, and the second woman after a 24-year vacuum since former Parti Bersatu Sabah’s Datuk Ariah Tengku Ahmad stepped down in 1994.
Liew wields enormous responsibility as not only the Deputy Chief Minister, but also as the state Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister, Tawau MP, Api Api assemblyman and Sabah Pakatan Harapan chairman.
Liew pledged to ramp up the state’s tourism industry, tighten protection for Sabah wildlife and generate meaningful changes in the state.
“Together with the ministries, we look forward to a fruitful future,” she said when contacted.
Liew also announced that she has let go of her decades-long career as a lawyer in order to focus on her new duties.
“I have informed the Sabah Law Association that I quit my job as a practising lawyer, as this promise was included in my manifesto,” said Liew, who was in the legal profession for more than 20 years.
On her post as the Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister, Liew said she liked her new job so far as “it gives me a lot of challenge to drive the state forward in these three areas.”
Liew plans to drive the tourism sector not only in Kota Kinabalu, but to also direct tourists to other parts of Sabah such as Sandakan and Tawau, which is located on the south-east corner of Sabah.
“Tourism should not be confined to Kota Kinabalu or Semporna, which is the most famous tourist spot in Sabah.
“We will also look into building more hotels to cater to more tourists,” said Liew.
While not a popular tourist destination, Tawau is a popular transit point for tourists as it has the closest airport to the neighbouring district of Semporna, which is famed for its diving havens.
In the state Cabinet, three women were also appointed as assistant ministers — Kunak assemblyman Norazlinah Arif for the Health and People’s Wellbeing Ministry; Moyog assemblyman Jenifer Lasimbang for the Education and Innovation Ministry; and Kepayan assemblyman Jannie Lasimbang for the Law and Native Affairs Ministry.- The Star Online