Nik Aziz Nik Mat: the passing of a great man


Salleh Said Keruak

One of the first things that the late Mursyidul am or spiritual leader of PAS, Datuk Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat, did when he took over as the new Menteri Besar of Kelantan was he called the Hindus for a meeting.

Nik Aziz told the Hindu community leaders that he had noticed that they had applied for permission to build a temple in Kelantan but the application had never been approved. Nik Aziz then asked them whether they still wanted to build their temple.

The Hindus were surprised. They had applied for permission to build a temple at a time when Umno was ruling the state and had heard nothing about it since. Now that PAS was running the state surely it would be even more impossible to get permission.

The Hindus told Nik Aziz that, of course, they do still want to build their temple but did not think the PAS government would approve the application if Umno would not approve it.

Nik Aziz approved the application for a Hindu temple there and then, much to the surprise and delight of the Hindus.

Before Nik Aziz became Menteri Besar, the Chinese were not allowed to slaughter pigs in Kelantan. They had to bring in the pork from outside Kelantan. With Nik Aziz as Menteri Besar, the Chinese could now set up abattoirs in Kelantan.

Those are just two examples of what type of Islamic leader Nik Aziz was. I could go on and on and give you pages of other examples. But those two alone are enough to demonstrate that Nik Aziz was not just a leader for the Muslims but a leader for all Kelantanese.