Nik Aziz losing grip on reality, Utusan says

(The Malaysian Insider) – Utusan Malaysia took pot shots today at Datuk Nik Aziz Nik Mat’s advanced age, saying the elderly PAS spiritual adviser’s decision to run in the coming polls was proof that he was senile and had lost touch with reality.

Making ample reference to Nik Aziz’s age, the Umno-controlled daily claimed that this showed the octogenarian still had a “lust for power” despite holding the post of Kelantan mentri besar for four terms, or more than 21 years. 

“Who would’ve thought that despite his advanced age, Nik Aziz still desires his post. Word is, he has hearing problems and his mind is no longer sharp, so it’s hard to brief him,” the paper said in its Awang Selamat column. 

“His statements too are often confusing, and do not reflect his position as mentri besar and PAS spiritual leader. And that is before touching on the question of his administration’s weak performance.” 

The editorial noted that even Malaysia’s longest-serving prime minister, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad — whom Nik Aziz had criticised for staying in power for too long — knew when to step down despite calls for the Umno strongman to remain. 

Dr Mahathir remained firm in his decision to retire from active politics even though “a majority of the people still needed his leadership” and many supporters had tried to change his mind, it pointed out. 

“If Dr Mahathir, who isn’t associated with the ulama image, has the confidence to step down and not hold on to his post indefinitely, why can’t Nik Aziz do the same?” it said. 

Utusan Malaysia went on to question if Nik Aziz had no confidence in the next generation of PAS leaders, and asked if his successors were “terrible”, “stupid” or too “corrupt” for the job.