Datuk Setia Raja Tan Sri Hamzah Haji Abu Samah
Sport: Track & Field
Year Inducted: 2000
Tan Sri Hamzah Abu Samah is certainly no stranger to Malaysians. This Pahang-born lad was a familiar political figure, holding numerous positions in the Government including Minister of Information and Broadcasting (1969-71), Minister of Youth and Sports (1971-73), Minister of Defence (1973-74), Minister of Commerce & Industry (1974-78) and Minister of Law and Attorney-General Malaysia (1970-80). He was also a partner of his own legal firm, and the director and chairman of various other corporations in the country.
He also held various positions in local and international sporting commissions and committees. He started off as team manager for the Selangor football team, during his tenure as the Vice President of the FAS in 1965. He was most noted for his long-standing service as the President of AFC, FAM and OCM – positions he held until the 1990s.
Under his able leadership of the FAM, Malaysia emerged as Champions of the Independence Football Fest (“Pestabola Merdeka”), the Thailand King’s Cup and Indonesian Independence Cup. The Malaysian team also qualified for the Moscow Olympic Games in 1980. However, they never made it to the Games, as Malaysia decided to withdraw in protest of Russia’s invasion of Afghanistan.
Tan Sri Hamzah was also selected as an IOC Member, holding positions in various IOC Commissions for over two decades, and Vice President of FIFA for 8 years. He was instrumental in bidding for Kuala Lumpur to host the Commonwealth Games in 1998, the second time that a non-superpower was selected to host the Games, and the first Asian country to do so.
One may wonder where Tan Sri Hamzah ever found the time to juggle his career, politics, sports and family life. But this go-getter obviously did not see these as obstacles but merely challenges which made life more interesting. It goes to show that if we want to spread our wings, time and tide cannot stand in our way.
1969 - President, Malaysian Cricket Association
1975 - President, Football Association of Malaysia (FAM)
1976 - President of Olympic Council of Malaysia (OCM)
1977 - Hon. President, SEA Games Federation
1978 - President, Asian Football Confederation (AFC), Member of International Olympic Committee (IOC)
1982 - Senior Vice President, Olympic Council of Asia, Vice President, Commonwealth Games Federation, Vice President of FIFA (until 1990)
1984 - Hon. President, FAM
1985 - Vice President, Islamic Solidarity Sport Federation
1987 - President, Malaysian Taekwondo Association
1990 - Honorary Executive Member of FIFA
1994 - Honorary President of AFC
1998 - Honorary President of NOC Malaysia
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