PAS Spiritual Adviser Nik Aziz Nik Mat Passes Away

PAS and the Kelantan state have lost an influential leader today after Datuk Bentara Setia Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat passed away at the age of 84.

The former Kelantan menteri besar breathed his last at 9.45pm, an hour after he was sent home in Kota Baru after doctors took him off respiratory support at the Hospital Universiti Sains Malaysia in Kubang Kerian.

“His health deteriorated after the doctors treated the ulcer last night,” his son Nik Mohd Abduh had said earlier in a statement issued in the state capital Kota Baru.

A crowd has gathered at Nik Aziz’s house in Pulau Melaka after he was sent home at 8.30pm. Among them are PAS vice-president Datuk Husam Musa.

Nik Aziz was the longest-serving menteri besar for Kelantan from 1990 to 2013.

Husam confirmed Nik Aziz’s death to The Malaysian Insider.

The respected leader was also the PAS spiritual adviser.

Nik Aziz had been the strongest advocate of the Pakatan Rakyat (PR) alliance since its formation in 2008, and also rejected all possibility of PAS cooperating with Umno.

He had once warned he would spit in the face of any PAS leader who wished to form an alliance with the ruling Malay party, having personally experienced the bitterness of leading PAS after Umno ejected it from Barisan Nasional (BN).

He was the most respected leader among his colleagues in PR components DAP and PKR, including opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.

Family members and other mourners paying their last respects to the late Datuk Nik Aziz Nik Mat at his house in Kota Baru, Kelantan tonight. – February 12, 2015.Anwar often flew to Nik Aziz’s home in Pulau Melaka, Kota Baru, to consult the leader before PR made any major decisions or faced internal problems.

He also managed to earn the trust of non-Muslims nationwide, and, among others, supported their right to use the word “Allah” as long as they had no ill intentions.

Born on January 10, 1931, Nik Aziz obtained his early education from his own father, who was a religious teacher.

He later continued his studies in Darul Uloom Deoband, Uttar Pradesh, India, majoring in the Arabic language.

After earning his first degree, Nik Aziz pursued his post graduate studies in Al Azhar Univesity, Egypt, and graduated with a Masters of Arts in Islamic jurisprudence.

Upon his return to Malaysia, he worked as a religious teacher and contested in his first general election in 1967, the same year he joined PAS.

He won the Kelantan Hilir parliamentary seat (later renamed to Pengkalan Chepa) and retained the seat until 1986.

Nik Aziz was appointed the Kelantan PAS Commissioner in 1978 after the party lost the state. He and then-PAS President Datuk Asri Haji Muda did not see eye-to-eye, and the latter eventually resigned the same year.

Nik Aziz first contested a state seat in 1986. He was appointed the Kelantan menteri besar after PAS won the state in 1990.

The following year, he was appointed PAS spiritual leader after Haji Yusof Rawa, who had previously held the position, passed away.

Nik Aziz had stepped down as Kelantan menteri besar on May 6 2013, despite winning the Chempaka state seat in the 13th general election.

After he resigned from the post, his health gradually worsened, forcing him to spend many of his days warded at the Hospital Universiti Sains Malaysia (HUSM) in Kubang Kerian.

He leaves behind wife Datin Tuan Sabariah Tuan Ishak and 10 children, including Pasir Mas MP Nik Mohd Abduh Nik Aziz.

Today, the country as a whole has lost a great figure who cannot be easily replaced.



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