Nik Aziz’s death will bind Pakatan closer, MPs say


(Malay Mail Online) – Although Datuk Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat’s death is a big loss to Pakatan Rakyat (PR), it will strengthen the opposition pact as the PAS spiritual adviser had always pushed for the Islamist party to remain in the coalition, PR leaders said yesterday.

PAS’ Parit Buntar MP Datuk Mujahid Yusof Rawa (pic) noted that Nik Aziz played a major role in the formation of PR by ensuring PAS’ continued participation in the coalition, a cause Nik Aziz continuously championed even after falling ill.

“For Pakatan Rakyat, this is a big loss,” Mujahid told Malay Mail Online yesterday.

“If we still remember, the role of Nik Aziz was big in ensuring the formation of Pakatan Rakyat. And I think by the time he was bedridden, he was still following what was going on, (in) his efforts to ensure Pakatan Rakyat was intact, and PAS continued on with PR,” he added.

Nik Aziz has repeatedly spoken out against proposals for a PAS-Umno unity government, saying in 2013 that he would not permit it for as long as he lived.

PKR vice-president Chua Tian Chang said this was an especially trying time for PR with Nik Aziz’s demise happening just after Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim was sentenced Tuesday to five years’ jail for sodomy.

“But all this is not going to discourage us. Although we are sad, we are not in despair,” Chua told Malay Mail Online.

“We see them as two individuals who have courageously challenged a system and that inspire and that push us to work harder, to continue their inspirations, to be inspired by them and continue their aspirations for a new society,” the Batu MP added.

Chua also praised the former Kelantan mentri besar’s unique ability run a state fairly while holding on to PAS’ Islamic principles.

“He overcame the continuous demonisation of the Islamic party by showing that rule by his party can be fair, it can treat all people and all religions with dignity, and showing by example is the best than just preaching,” he said.

Bersih 2.0 former co-chairman Datuk Ambiga Sreenevasan expressed sadness at Nik Aziz’s death, saying he had a knack of saying just the right thing at the right time.

“Always calm personality, but courageous and always came in and said the right thing at the right time. He was very well respected and we will definitely miss him,” she told Malay Mail Online.

Nik Aziz died last night at his home in Pulau Melaka, weeks after he was readmitted to the hospital due to his ailing health.

Nik Aziz, 84, was Chempaka state assemblyman. He won the seat in the 13th general election with a 6,500 vote-majority.

His death will trigger a by-election, pending an announcement by the Election Commission (EC).