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Dr Noor Hisham - a hero in these trying times

New Straits Times logo New Straits Times 27/3/2020 Tharanya Arumugam
Hisham Abdullah wearing a suit and tie: Health director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah. - NSTP/MOHD FADLI HAMZAH © Provided by New Straits Times Health director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah. - NSTP/MOHD FADLI HAMZAH

KUALA LUMPUR: A leader in times of crises is more than reading a prepared speech or sharing updates on social media.

Leading through a crisis is no doubt a challenge, especially when handling something as severe as the Covid-19 global pandemic.

One particular leader who has become the face of Covid-19 updates in the country has won praises for his windom, competency, professionalism, strong leadership, demeanour, and the list goes on.

He is none other than Health director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah, who has now become a household name since the start of the outbreak.

The 57-year-old, who is also a well-trained surgeon has been in the frontline day and night managing the Covid-19 health crisis - even during the absence of a minister and deputy minister, while facing the camera and calmly attending to questions from journalists and netizens.

Dr Noor Hisham was also commended for his carefully thought out words used in communicating the crisis during press conferences and in providing prompt updates on his Facebook and Twitter pages, amid tension and panic from the public.

“Professional, firm and straight to the point. It shows we are battling in confidence and leading to the bright side. Thank you so much, Datuk! This is real Malaysia we all want to see! Salute,” Showey Lim wrote on Facebook.

“He's composed, articulate and calm when he speaks. We're grateful that DG is working tirelessly with resilience to battle Covid-19. Thank you Sir,” Jonathan Ky Heng said.

On Twitter, netizens were quick to commend his clarity and candour in managing the health crisis.

“Syukur ada DG MOH macam Datuk Noor Hisham (We are thankful to have him). The way he handles PC and daily updates on the situation is highly respected. Please take care of your health as well. Mesti tak cukup rest since the virus outbreak,” Faizal Omar tweeted.

John Van Huizen said: “One thing I’m grateful for is that we have Datuk Dr Noor Hisham as our DG of Health to get us through all this. Thank you for the hard work.”

“Our kudos and love to Health DG Dr Noor Hisham, who, with his team, is doing qn excellent job in an impossible situation. Cabinet members, give them space, and tools. Our hearts and prayers are with Drs and nurses and support staff,” GK Ganesa wrote.

“He surely deserves The Panglima Setia Mahkota (Tan Sri)!” Joshua Lopez wrote

“DG of health, Datuk Dr Noor Hisham ni bercakap tenang saja tengok. Lancar semua yang diucap (His speech delivery is smooth and can be easily understood by the public),” Zie tweeted.

Dr Noor Hisham, who was born on April 21, 1963 in Sepang, Selangor was appointed as the Health director-general on March 1, 2013.

Prior to that, he served as the deputy director-general since Feb 1, 2008.

He is also the head and senior consultant breast and endocrine surgeon in Putrajaya Hospital.

Dr Noor Hisham, who has a Masters in Surgery and Medical doctorate degree from Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, joined the civil service as a medical officer in August 1988.

He then went on to specialise in endocrine surgery and did his training in various universities in Adelaide and Sydney, Australia.

He has published numerous articles both in local and international journals and written many textbook chapters in endocrine surgery.

He also provides leadership in many different innovative health outreach learning and programmes in the country.

© New Straits Times Press (M) Bhd

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