Big tussle over Nik Aziz’s legacy

In the spotlight: Nik Omar (centre) with (from left) PKR candidates Rodziah Ismail and Mohd Najwan Halim, Khalid and Kota Anggerik incumbent Yaakob Sapari during a grand hi-tea event in Shah Alam.

NIK Omar Nik Aziz does not quite resemble his famous father in terms of looks, although he has a similar slim and small body frame.

But his supporters claim that the eldest son of Datuk Nik Aziz Nik Mat has inherited his father’s wisdom in ideas and reasoning.

Nik Omar has been the general election newsmaker in the clashing political world of PAS and Amanah in the last few weeks and more so after he chose to stand on an Amanah ticket in Chempaka, his late father’s seat.

It caused PAS leaders to see red and he has been under attack.

His action in contesting against the party that his father had helped to define is still rippling through Kelantan.

Those ripples reached the Klang Valley yesterday afternoon.

A big crowd turned up to catch a glimpse of Nik Omar in Shah Alam, where Amanah information chief Khalid Samad is defending his seat and PKR newbie Najwan Halimi is contesting the Kota Anggerik state seat.

It was a huge boost for the pair because Shah Alam and the two state seats of Kota Anggerik and Batu Tiga will see an intense three-­cornered fight between Paka­tan Harapan, PAS and Barisan Nasional.

Khalid is up against the high profile Dr Mohd Zuhdi Marzuki, who heads the PAS think-tank and who is known to speak his mind.

His Umno opponent is Shah Alam Umno chief Datuk Azhari Saari, who has machinery and money.

Najwan, a mechanical engineer and former Anwar Ibrahim aide, is facing a tough fight against the fiery PAS cleric Ahmad Duzuki Abdul Rani and Umno’s Jumaeah Masdi.

Ahmad Duzuki had recently prayed for the destruction of Paka­tan during a PAS gathering in Selangor.

He had also slammed Nik Omar contesting against PAS in his late father’s seat in Kelantan as an “evil deed”.

Nik Omar’s decision to go with Amanah has dealt a moral blow to PAS. Over the last few years, both sides tried to claim that their respective parties best represented what Nik Aziz stood for.

PAS had projected the younger Nik Abduh, who is a spitting image of his father, as the legacy holder.

But Nik Omar has displayed maturity and depth of thinking.

In Shah Alam yesterday, he said that going into the general election is not about whose religion is superior, but which party will better govern the country.

He said that continuing the legacy of his father should not be confined to staying in the party of his father but playing a role in the country.

According to Shah Alam Amanah chief Azli Yusof, Nik Omar reflects the political thinking of his father, who believed that PAS should work with other political parties.

Nik Omar is in great demand and he appeared alongside Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad in Putrajaya.

There had been speculation that he is going against his mother’s wishes in contesting against PAS in Chempaka.

But Amanah leaders claimed that the family did not want him to contest against Nik Abduh in Bachok and that they had accepted his decision to stand in Chempaka.

“For many of us who miss Nik Aziz, he reminds us a lot of his father. He also believes in his father’s inclusive approach to politics, without disrespecting different views,” said Khalid.

The PAS leadership has not taken it well and PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang had likened Nik Omar to the son of the prophet Noah who did not believe that the deluge was coming and disobeyed his father.

Critics of PAS sees this as an extreme attempt to portray Nik Omar as someone who had betrayed his father’s beliefs.

Nik Abduh had attacked Nik Omar on social media, saying that his brother’s action was like a “direct shot to the heart” of their mother.

But Nik Abduh was chastised when he used a crude phrase to distance his brother from the family: “Who are we without our mother? Just wasted semen.”

PAS deputy president Datuk Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man had to step in and stop the attacks.

The tussle between PAS and Amanah in the claim to be the guardian of Nik Aziz’s legacy will intensify if Nik Omar wins in Chempaka.

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