Clouds gather in Kelantan as Umno lodges Nik Aziz report

The senior-most PAS leader has been the leading critic of Umno and the main obstacle in his plot to get the party to form a Malay power pact with Umno.

Suara Keadilan

As he created chaos in Perak, Prime Minister Najib Razak is now resorting to all ways and means – particularly the unfair and the foul – to break up PAS in Kelantan, the long-held bastion of the Islamist party.

Unable to accept the rejection dealt out by the Pakatan Rakyat top leadership on Monday, when PKR, DAP and PAS had unanimously voted against forming a unity government with his Umno-BN, Najib is now targeting Nik Aziz Nik Mat.

The senior-most PAS leader has been the leading critic of Umno and the main obstacle in his plot to get the party to form a Malay power pact with Umno.

For the scandal-hit and underperforming PM, this is crucial if he is to survive not just at the federal government but also within Umno, where dissatisfaction with his weak leadership is gaining ground.

Indeed, Najib has already publicly encouraged Nasharudin Mat Isa, the PAS deputy president whom he believes is receptive to his lures, to defy Nik Aziz and stage a revolt that could split the Islamist party down the line.

Flashing the Sedition Act

On Thursday, Kelantan Umno Youth lodged a police report against Nik Aziz, who is also the Kelantan Menteri Besar for allegedly inciting hatred, anger and causing chaos amongst the people.

According Anuar Safian, the Youth chief there, Nik Aziz should be charged under the Sedition Act 1948 and the Internal Security Act 1960 for a speech he made on June 21 at Kampung Laloh, Manek Urai.

Anuar claims that the chief minister had attacked Umno by likening the party to the deviationist Ayah Pin and the Sky Kingdom cult and for branding Umno as a communist and a socialist party that was anti-Islam.

The Youth leader also said the speech was reported in an English daily, Kelantan TV and other publications.

“I want to ask Nik Aziz how many people in Umno have deviated since its involvement in politics for the past 64 years and if we were communists and did not believe in God, just look at what Umno has done for Islam and the Malays all these years,” Anuar told reporters at the Kota Baru police station.

“His attacks is beyond comprehension and it should be investigated as people might believe his words and in the end people would hate Umno that would lead to untoward incidents.”

Nik Aziz first or Anwar first

Malaysians who feared Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim might be the first casualty of Najib’s dirty-war may well wonder if they got it wrong after all.

Could it be the 78-year old Nik Aziz who will be the first top Pakatan leader to be jailed by the country’s sixth prime minister?

Anwar is already expecting a jail sentence from his sodomy trial due to begin on July 8.

Despite two medical reports – one from the government-run Hospital Kuala Lumpur – that says the complainant was not sodomised, Najib’s administration is insistent on pushing the case through.

The PKR adviser has pleaded not guilty and accused the PM of political persecution, a view shared by the U.S. State Department, which has gone on record to say it believes the charges were trumped up to dent Anwar’s credibility.

“The desperation is there. Najib can’t hide it anymore. It was a political fiasco and a terrible embarrassment to be rejceted. So he will fight on even though by doing so, he will only worsen the situation and literally bury himself in the process. But he won’t stop, just as in Perak, he won’t let go,” said a veteran political watcher.

“You can say it doesn’t make sense and you wouldn’t be wrong. But what it also signifies is that he has the intention to resort to force, to gunfire and emergency rule to stay in power. So popularity is not a necessity.”

There are others who point to the upcoming Manik Urai by-election due for polling on July 14. They believe Anuar was posturing ahead of the contest for the state seat.

Umno has decided to take part after Najib was panned for cowardice in skipping last month’s Penanti by-election. The party is due to name its candidate on Sunday, while PAS will be making its announcement on June 26.