KOTA KINABALU, Sept 29 (Bernama) — Datuk Hajiji Noor has been a household name in Sabah since his foray into the state’s 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 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 as Local Government and Housing Minister and as assistant minister in various ministries such as in the Arts, Youths and Sports Ministry, Chief Minister’s Department and Finance Ministry.
Hajiji was in his 30’s when he took a dive into politics and was active in championing issues on Sabah politics 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 7th state.
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 Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu).
He has held several positions in UMNO and Bersatu such as the divison head for Tuaran UMNO, Sabah UMNO chairman, chairman for the main committee for Sabah Bersatu launching ceremony and is currently the Sabah Bersatu chief and Perikatan Nasional (PN) chairman.
In the 14th General Election, Hajiji, 65, 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 Datin 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 and people’s 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 Datuk Aliasgar Basri from Warisan who obtained 2,820 votes and Parti Cinta Sabah’s Datuk Rekan Hussien (253 votes). — BERNAMA