Former Singapore Sports Council (SSC) chief executive officer Oon Jin Teik has resigned from his post at Hyflux Ltd.
In a statement issued on its website on Wednesday, the water solutions company announced that the 51-year-old (above) will step down from his position as group executive vice president of global marketing and South-east Asia on April 30.
The statement also said that Oon would be "taking up a senior role to lead an initiative of national interest as well as a pursuit that is close to his personal interests and passion."
Speculation has been mounting that Oon, 51, set to play a leading role at the Singapore Sports Hub.
It would be a good fit, according to Singapore Table Tennis Association president Lee Bee Wah.
She said: "Jin Teik is passionate about sports and has never been too far away from being involved in the local sports scene in one way or another.
"He has maintained his friendships and contacts in the industry and his familiarity with the structure of the PPP (private-public partnership) will be beneficial to the consortium, if it's true that he is joining them in some capacity.
"His business acumen and his ability to connect with partners from all levels will be a huge asset to not just the consortium, but also to Singapore sports."
Prior to joining SSC in 2004, Oon represented the Republic in four South-east Asia (SEA) Games from 1977 to 1987, landing the 1980 Sportsboy of the Year Award along the way.
The breaststroke specialist also represented the nation at the 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles.
He won two bronze medals at the 1986 Asian Games in Seoul as part of the 4x100m and 4x200m freestyle relay teams.
During Oon's six-year tenure at the SSC, Singapore recorded its best medal hauls at the 2005 and 2007 SEA Games (129 and 127 medals, respectively) and the 2006 Asian Games (27 medals).
The Republic also landed its first Olympic medal in 48 years, when the table tennis women won team silver at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
He was also intimately involved in the bidding process to build the Singapore Sports Hub and was part of the team that recommended the Singapore Sports Hub consortium for the $1.3 billion private-public partnership project.
After leaving SSC in 2010, Oon joined Hyflux and was based in Shanghai from 2011, returning to Singapore at the start of this year.
Singapore Athletic Association president Tang Weng Fei believes that Oon's connections will help, if he takes on a role at the Sports Hub.
"He understands how the system works at SSC, which will facilitate a lot of working relationships with them and other government bodies," said Tang.
"His background is quite suitable because he also has commercial experience, which will help with the many commercial tie-ins involved with the Sports Hub."
For former national footballer R Sasikumar, the news of Oon's possible return to local sports is a welcome one.
"It's good to see that he's coming back," said the managing director of integrated sports marketing company, The Red Card.
"He must be itching to come back to local sports as that's where his heart is.
"He's definitely an asset as he has grown his network over the years and been around the world with Hyflux.
"Even if it's not a related field, these days it's all about networking."
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