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Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Hajiji: I never aspired to be politician, content as govt officer


Newly sworn Sabah Chief Minister Hajiji Noor has been a household name in the state since his foray into the political arena 30 years ago.

Born in Kampung Serusup, Tuaran, it had never crossed his mind to enter politics and become an elected representative for he was more comfortable being a government officer.

“Never have I thought or have the ambition to be a politician. I was content being a government officer, but this is God’s will,” he told Bernama in an interview recently.

Among the important positions he has held in the Sabah government, were: the local government and housing minister, and as assistant minister in various ministries such as in the Arts, Youths, and Sports Ministry, the Chief Minister’s Department, and the Finance Ministry.

Hajiji was in his 30s when he dived into politics and was active in championing Sabah-related issues using the Usno (United Sabah National Organisation) platform and was fielded as a candidate for the Sulaman constituency in 1990, where he won with a majority of 281 votes in the state election.

Hajiji, who graduated in politics from the University of New Hampshire in the United States, then forged his political path with Umno starting in 1993. He has held the same seat for seven terms under Umno and Bersatu.

He has held several positions in Umno and Bersatu, such as the division head for Tuaran Umno, Sabah Umno chairperson, chairperson for the main committee for Sabah Bersatu's launching ceremony, and is currently the Sabah Bersatu chief and Perikatan Nasional (PN) chairperson.

In the 14th general election, Hajiji, who is now 64, obtained 12,966 votes ahead of Abdullah Sani Daud of Warisan, who garnered 5,192 votes, and Arifin Harith of Parti Harapan Rakyat Sabah (467 votes).

Married to Juliah Salag and blessed with four children and 12 grandchildren, Hajiji led the PN coalition in the 16th state election on Saturday.

Hajiji’s charisma, leadership, people-friendly personality, and commitment in discharging his duties as an elected representative in the area continued to win the constituents’ hearts when he garnered 5,919 votes in a three-cornered fight.

He defeated his nephew Aliasgar Basri from Warisan who obtained 2,820 votes and Parti Cinta Sabah’s Rekan Hussien (253 votes).


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