Abdul Azim appointed as new NSI chairman

From left: XOX Berhad group chief executive officer Ng Kok Heng, XOX Berhad chairman Datuk Seri Abdul Azim Mohd Zabidi, XOX Berhad group managing director Datuk Eddie Chai and national shuttler Datuk Lee Chong Wei

KUALA LUMPUR: Datuk Seri Abdul Azim Mohd Zabidi (pic) will be new chairman of the National Sports Institute (NSI).

The 58-year-old Azim’s appointment was confirmed by Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin during yesterday’s launch of the 100-day countdown to the Kuala Lumpur SEA Games from Aug 19-30.

Azim, who is the treasurer of the Malay Cricket Association of Malaysia and chairman of the Sungei Wang Plaza Sdn Bhd, takes over from Datuk Seri Norza Zakaria. Norza stepped down last month after becoming the president of the Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM).

Earlier on Monday, Azim was named by the Olympic Council of Malaysia (OCM) as the chef-de-mission (CDM) for the 2018 Asian Games in Jakarta.

“I’m confident that Azim is the right man for the CDM post. He is also our choice to be the next chairman for the NSI,” said Khairy.

“He’s a corporate man and very experienced. We need someone like him to head the NSI and to guide our contingent (at the Asian Games). I expect him to get started in his new NSI post later this month.”

In a separate issue, Khairy has called on North Korea to guarantee the safety of the national football team when they play their 2019 Asian Cup qualifying Group B match in Pyongyang on June 8.

The match was initially supposed to be held at the Kim Il-sung Stadium on March 28. But it was postponed following a diplomatic crisis caused by the assassination of Kim Jong-nam, the estranged half-brother of North Korean ruler Kim Jong-un, at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport 2 (KLIA2) on Feb 13.

“The tension between Malaysia and North Korea is over. But they (North Korea) are still facing issues against the outside world. I do hope that North Korea can give us a guarantee that our team will be safe there, play the match and be able to come home safely,” said Khairy.

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