Norza, an individual that is country over self.

There is a saying that God works in a mysterious way.

And that is what Mohamad Norza Zakaria would have thought looking at what transpired over the course of a few days for him personally.

The son of two primary school Teachers , who were once stationed in Tampin , was bestowed the Pingat Panglima Setia ( PSM) which carries the title Tan Sri by His Royal Highness Al Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah ibni Almarhum Sultan Haji Ahmad Shah Al-Musta’in Billah at a glittering ceremony steeped in tradition at the Istana Malawati,

It must surely be a proud moment for the Olympic Council of Malaysia and Badminton Association of Malaysia President who was born in Alor Gajah in 1966.

It was only on last Wednesday that the father of Tan Sri Norza , Tuan Haji Zakaria Yusof returned to his maker.

Though I never met Tuan Haji Zakaria, we had a bond of sorts as he too was a dialysis patient.

It some three years ago that Tan Sri Norza asked me on matters regarding dialysis and confided that his Dad had to undergo dialysis.

And despite our differences, it was Tan Sri’s understanding on the life of a dialysis patient that gave a new meaning to our friendship that we first developed when Tan Sri Norza had wanted to contest against the then KLBA President Dato Andrew Kan.

That duel never happened as Dato Andrew in his opening remarks at the AGM announced his support for Tan Sri Norza to take over.

And that marked his entry into the world of sports, a deviation from his corporate world where he is a Chartered Accountant by profession,

Tan Sri Norza saw a steady rise , appointed as ISN Chairman, Chef De Mission of the 2015 SAE Games as well as Deputy President id Badminton Association of Malaysia and Olympic Council of Malaysia.

It culminated with Tan Sri elected as BAM President in April 2017 and OCM President in May 2018.

Those who may not know Tan Sri Norza often regard him as a man in a hurry,

But there can be no doubt in his passion and desire for sports.

Rather then bask in the glory of his Federal Award, Tan Sti Nirza will be back barely 24 hours after the investiture ceremony to chair the OCM Executive Board meeting this morning.

When contacted yesterday on his feelings, Tan Sri Norza had this to say ;

“ I wish to place on record my sincere appreciation to His Majesty Al Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah ibni Almarhum Sultan Haji Ahmad Shah Al-Musta’in Billah) and the government of Malaysia led by The Right Honourable Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin , for bestowing the award of Panglima Setia Mahkota, which carries the title Tan Sri.

“ This award will undoubtedly spur me towards serving better the needs of our beloved country Malaysia.

“ I share this honour with my fellow national sports associations, Athletes, officials and volunteers.”

With this award, Tan Sri Norza joins his peers in the office of President of OCM with the title Tan Sri, the last two being Tan Sri Hamzah Abu Samah ( 1976 to 1998) and Tunku Tan Sri Imran Tuanku Jaafar ( 1998 to 2018) .

Tan Sri Norza has a heavy burden to deliver the nations first Olympic gold medal,

A Herculean effort will be needed in Tokyo 2021 but a distinct possibility in Paris 2024 if Sports Minister Dato Seri Reezal Merican Naina Merican makes significant changes.

With elections imminent a change of Minister cannot be discounted.

And that is where Tan Sri Norza needs to be decisive.

In the mean time Tan Sri Norza can bask in glory but his focus as revealed is the plight of the 56 affiliates of OCM as sports undergoes a testing time.