Noordin Ahmad: Malaysia’s mystery man at Bari

Datuk Dr Noordin Ahmad’s purchase of a 50 per cent stake in Italian Serie B side Bari is causing a stir back home, with many wondering who the businessman really is. FourFourTwo spoke to several people in the industry and here’s what we uncovered… 

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Who is Dr Noordin?

Datuk Dr Noordin Ahmad and Bari grabbed headlines in Malaysia following the club’s confirmation that the Malaysian had purchased 50 per cent of the Italian club’s stake.

The local footballing scene, except Kelantan FA president Tan Sri Annuar Mus, has no clue as to who Dr Noordin is and are also on a search of their own to get in touch with the 59-year-old, in hope that they could strike up a partnership for the benefit of Malaysian football.

Annuar told Malay Mail that Noordin was a close friend of his since the pair studied together at the Royal Military College in the 1970s.

“He is a genuine businessman with vast experience in oil and gas, education, aviation and corporate restructuring. He has always kept a low profile despite being in the industry for 33 years. He was never with government,” he said, before telling the daily that the duo have big plans for Malaysia.

NST reported the Penang-born Perak-bred businessman was the founder of the Malaysian-French Institute, a technical training centre under MARA specialising in automation, electrical, mechanical and maintenance.

Bari are close to promotion to Serie A. Photo: Bari

MARA is an agency under the Malaysian Ministry of Entrepreneur & Co-operative Development.

Dr Noordin is also associated with Finmeccanica, an Italian company specialising in aerospace, defence and security sectors.

He is said to have played a role in Malaysia’s military dealings with Italy.

In 2014, bilateral trade between the two countries reached about RM9 billion. Among it included helicopters and military equipment from Finmeccanica.

One observer noted “Dr Noordin could be a proxy for a big gun in Malaysia” but at the moment, Dr Noordin seems to have built an attachment to Italy, a country he says saved his live during Christmas.

“I suffered my second heart attack in Rome … the first attack was 10 years ago. I thought I was going to die (this time) but the doctors in Italy took care of me and they saved me. I feel I should do something for Italy,” he told reporters in Bari.