PETALING JAYA: In the 23 years he helmed the Kelantan state government, Datuk Nik Aziz Nik Mat never moved into the official house, reflecting the humble lifestyle of the man fondly known as Tok Guru.
He preferred to stay in the house where he was born in Pulau Melaka in Kota Baru. It was in the house that he passed away at 9.45pm on Thursday.
Born on Jan 10, 1931, Nik Aziz was a second child of five siblings who were raised single-handedly by their father Nik Mat Raja Banjar.
Nik Aziz first contested and won the Kelantan Hilir parliamentary seat by-election that year and held the seat (later renamed Pengkalan Chepa) until 1986 under the PAS banner. In the 2013 General Election, Nik Aziz retained the Cempaka state seat.
In 1990, PAS wrested control of Kelantan from Barisan Nasional. In his capacity as party leader in the state, Nik Aziz became Mentri Besar, succeeding Yusof Rawa as the party's spiritual leader in 1991.
Nik Aziz married Tuan Sabariah Tuan Ishak and had 10 children, one of whom is Pasir Mas MP Nik Mohamad Abduh.
He began his early education in the sekolah pondok before furthering his studies at Darul Uloom Deoband in Uttar Pradesh, India for five years.
Nik Aziz graduated in Bachelor of Arts in Arabic Studies and Master of Arts in Islamic Jurisprudence from the famed Al-Azhar University, Egypt.
He was able to converse in Arabic, English, Tamil and Urdu in addition to his native Malay language.
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