KOTA BARU: The man who defined Kelantan politics for two decades has been gone since 2015, and now two of his sons could be working from opposing camps in the general election.
PAS former spiritual leader Datuk Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat had 10 children. So far, the only one active in politics is incumbent Pasir Mas MP Nik Abduh Nik Abdul Aziz, who is a PAS loyalist.
Speculations keep lingering that his eldest brother Nik Omar is being sought by Parti Amanah Negara, despite reports that their mother is against it.
The ordinary folk here in the state do not seem to mind the sons’ involvement in politics.
“Nik Abdul Aziz and his family members are still popular among the public,” said housewife Siti Sarah Md Sudin, 41.
“I have never seen him promoting his son, but we know he will be a good leader,” she said, conceding however that it would be tough for any of his sons to fill his shoes.
As for civil servant, Mohd Faizal Zohdi, 34, Nik Abdul Aziz remained a father figure.
“People of Kelantan have similar high hopes for his sons,” he said.
According to political analyst Prof Datuk Dr Ibrahim Che Omar, “we cannot deny Nik Abduh’s talent but people will be remembering his father’s contributions when he led the state government”.
Another analyst, Prof Dr Sivamurugan Pandian, said it was part of PAS’ strategy to field Nik Abduh as a candidate as he was expected to carry on with the legacy of his father, known as Tok Guru.
“His father is still an icon among the Kelantanese. That will help him and the party,” he said.
However, Dr Sivamurugan also added that this should not be seen as nepotism, especially those who had gone up the ranks on their own effort.
Another father-and-son story in Kelantan could emerge if Barisan Nasional picks Kota Baru Umno deputy Youth chief Fikhran Hamshi Mohd Fatmi for the Kota Baru parliamentary seat.
Kota Baru Umno chief Tan Sri Mohd Fatmi Che Salleh said that Fikhran Hamshi could be the choice not because he was his son but because of his capability in winning the hearts of the young people there.
“In fact, he is not just well accepted by the youth but also the veteran and the party machinery,” he said at the launch of the Kota Baru Barisan manifesto here yesterday.
The incumbent Kota Baru MP is PAS secretary-general Datuk Takiyuddin Hassan.
Mohd Fatmi said Fikhran Hamshi had been active on the ground for years.
“Although he has yet to be officially announced as the candidate, we can alrseady feel the excitement during the programmes we hold,” he said.