KUALA LUMPUR, April 10 — Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah will retire as Health director-general on April 21 after 35 years in government service.

He is particularly well-known as the face of the health sector’s fight against Covid-19 as he gave daily updates on the number of infections in the early days of the pandemic.

According to a Facebook post by the Food Safety and Quality Division of the Health Ministry dated April 7, the Malaysian Food Analyst Council meeting held the day before was the last meeting chaired by Noor Hisham before his retirement on April 21.

On that day, he turns 60 which is the compulsory retirement age for civil servants.

“A special session was held in appreciation of all his services and contributions to the Malaysian Food Analyst Council,” the Facebook post stated.

In a report by The Star today, Noor Hisham said he is looking forward to spending more time with his family after he retires.

“Retirement is the next chapter of life. It’s a life journey. I will cross one bridge at a time,” he was quoted as saying.

He has held the Health directory-general portfolio since 2013 and was previously the deputy director-general of Health (medical) between January 2008 and February 2013.

“It’s a memorable part of my medical journey to handle the pandemic and lead the challenge until we are almost back to normalcy,” he told The Star.

He was appointed last year to chair the World Health Organisation Standing Committee on Health Emergency Prevention, Preparedness and Response.

Apart from his work in the public health sector, he is also a surgeon specialising in breast and endocrine surgery.