KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 15 (Bernama) -- The proclamation of Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah Ibni Sultan Haji Ahmad Shah Al-Musta’in Billah as the sixth Sultan of Pahang can be regarded as a huge victory for sports in the country, says Olympic Council of Malaysia (OCM) president Datuk Seri Norza Zakaria.
He described the Sultan as a humble person who was always open to other views and opinions when it came to sports development, including in hockey, football and polo – his three favourite sports.
“As OCM president, I am thrilled and proud by his appointment as the sixth Sultan of Pahang,” Norza told Bernama today.
He said Sultan Abdullah was also highly respected by other sports leaders worldwide, having been appointed to the executive committee of world football governing body FIFA and as president of the Asian Hockey Federation (AHF).
“He had to go through the selection process just like others and his appointment to both the sports bodies showed that he has the best leadership qualities,” said Norza.
Malaysia Hockey Confederation (MHC) president Datuk Seri Subahan Kamal concurred with Norza, and described Sultan Abdullah as a sporting person as he paid special attention to the development of national sports, especially hockey, and even led MHC from 2008 to 2015.
“The national senior and junior squad attained great success during his tenure as MHC president. For me, he has contributed so much to sports in the country.
“I know Tuanku Sultan personally and he is a consummate professional when it comes to sports and he also cares about players’ welfare,” said Subahan.
Sultan Abdullah is synonymous with sports. Such is his commitment to sports that he has shone not just in Malaysia but also on the international stage.
He is an ASEAN Football Federation (AFF) council member, FIFA executive committee member and was Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) president.
Sultan Abdullah is also active in hockey. Apart from being the AHF president, he is also an executive board member of FIH, the world hockey governing body.
He is also the president of the Royal Malaysian Polo Association, Royal Pahang Polo Club, Pahang Squash Club, Royal Pahang Golf Club and Royal Pahang Shooting Club.
He has also made a name for himself on the international stage, having been the chairman of the Organising Committee of the 1997 FIFA World Youth Championship; member of the Organising Committee of 2003 FIFA Confederations Cup, Paris; chairman of the Organising Committee of 2011 FIP Polo World Cup, Malaysia; chairman of Organising Committee of 2012 FIH Congress, Kuala Lumpur; chairman of 2015 AFC Asian Cup Australia; and member of the Organising Committee for 2018 World Cup, Russia.
When he was in England, he used to lead the Royal Pahang Polo Club to international matches at the Windsor Polo Club.
Sultan Abdullah also loves golf, go-kart racing and ultralight aviation.