Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman said the decision was made after consulting Sabah Barisan Nasional leaders.
"The State Government has decided to appoint Abidin as the new and third Mayor of Kota Kinabalu," Musa said in a statement, noting Abidin's vast experience in public service having held various senior government posts for over 20 years.
He expressed confidence that Abidin would do a good job and continue to enhance the quality of living in the city. He also thanked outgoing Mayor Datuk Iliyas Ibrahim for a job well done throughout his three terms.
"He (certainly) has done well in improving the condition and landscape of the city," Musa said.
Abidin when contacted, thanked the State Government and particularly the Chief Minister for the appointment.
Abidin, a Dusun from Ranau, said he was surprised over the appointment as there were many qualified candidates for the post.
"What is important is to continue the good work of the former mayor, especially in ensuring the cleanliness of the city, beautification and landscaping works, as well as tightening up safety."
"It is indeed an honour and a privillege. My two predecessors, Datuk Ghani Rashid and Datuk Iliyas Ibrahim have set high standards for me to follow and I will try my best to keep up with these standards.
"I also look forward to the co-operation of every resident of Kota Kinabalu. Together, let us make our city a better place to live in," he said.
Abidin, 57, joined the civil service in 1978 with his first posting in the State Economic Planning Unit.
He was also Permanent Secretary to various ministries such as Local Government and Housing (twice), Agriculture Ministry, Youth and Sports Ministry and Resource Development and Information Technology Ministry.
He obtained a LLB Hons degree from the University of London in 1983 and BA Hons from University of Malaya in 1978. He was admitted as an advocate at the High Court of Borneo in 1988 and as an advocate of the newly-formed Native Court of Appeal last year.
Minister for Local Government and Housing, Datuk Hj Hajiji Hj Noor welcomed the appointment of his Permanent Secretary.
Congratulating Abidin, he believed the Chief Minister's decision was based on Abidin's vast experience in the civil service and his proven capabilities.
"The CM's choice is most apt. Abidin has worked under me for the last few years and I found him very capable and dedicated to his duties and responsibilities," he said.
Hajiji noted that Abidin had two stints in the Ministry of Local Government and Housing as Permanent Secretary, the first between 1989 and 1994 when the then Kota Kinabalu Municipal Council (MPKK) was under the Ministry.
"In other words, Kota Kinabalu is not new to Abidin in terms of administration and development and he is also well-versed with local government and housing affairs, having served the Ministry twice," he said.
Hajiji also noted that Abdidin had a dintingusihed career in the civil service, having served as Permanent Secretary in various Ministries for almost 22 years.
Kota Kinabalu was placed under the Chief Minister's Department when it became a city in 2000, in line with the federal practice where Kuala Lumpur was placed under the Prime Minister's Department when it first became a city. Hajiji also thanked out-going Mayor Iliyas for his distinguished service.