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Nik Aziz’s son steps into the fray

 | April 18, 2013

While the son will start his political journey, this likely to be the last term for the father.

MACHANG: PAS spiritual leader Nik Aziz Nik Mat’s s son is all set to start his political career while this is likely to be the last term for his father.

For Nik Abduh, 42, it will be a baptism of fire. He has been picked to contest in the Pasir Mas parliamentary seat but he is likely to run into heavyweights like businessman Che Johan Che Pa and Perkasa founder Ibrahim Ali.

According to a PAS official here, Nik Aziz, who has served as menteri besar for 22 years and as the PAS spiritual adviser, had indicated to the caretaker state executive councillors here that this is his last term.

“Nik Aziz will lead PAS into battle but he will probably step down after it. One or two to three years later, it is up to him. He is a great servant to the cause of Islam in Kelantan. We are grateful for him,” said a party insider.

Others predict that Nik Aziz, aged 82, who is on track to be the oldest candidate, will even retire within the next few months.

He is ailing with a host of ailments associated with old age and recently could not walk to a function in Johor, and had to be literally carried across.

While his son has been named as a candidate, there was no place however for his son-in-law, Nik Fahmi Abdul Rahman, 36, a young upstart with a technocrat background.

Thirteen of the 45 candidates are new, but PAS has encountered a technical issue with PKR, where the party is unable to announce its candidates for the Guchil and Paloh state seats at this 11th hour.

State PAS deputy commissioner Ahmad Yakcop, who met the media, assured that PKR will field their candidates come nominations on Saturday.

The party will contest five state seats while PAS, the remainder 40. PAS will also do battle in 11 parliament seats and PKR three.

Another development was the departure from the state of PAS deputy secretary-general Takiyuddin Hassan to contest the Kota Baru parliamentary seat, leaving a large vacancy to fill, as he was the legal brains in the state administration.

His peer – Husam Musa is also preoccupied in trying to fight an uphill battle as he had declared a wish to contest in the Putrajaya parliament.

Husam, who was missing when PAS revealed its state candidates list here last night, will however defend his Salor state seat, giving rise that he is in the running to replace his mentor Nik Abdul Aziz as mentri besar.

30 percent new faces

Ahmad and deputy state commissioner II Nik Mohd Amar Nik Abdullah, are defending their Pasir Pekan and Panchor state seats respectively.

The duo are in the running to emerge victorious from their battles, as the opposition here is seen to be weak. They too, will eventually be running for the state’s top post.

Nik Abdul Aziz’s overwhelming hold as menteri besar here, has caused three factions to emerge from within the state PAS leadership in the last decade.

It is said that Ahmad and Takiyuddin head one, Nik Mohd Amar another, while Husam is also in the mix.

New talents to emerge were popular emcee Ahmad Baihaki Atiqullale, who will be fielded in the Kubang Kerian parliament, PAS Youth activist Ahmad Marzuki Shaari in Bachok and surgeon Dr Nik Mazian Nik Mohamed, who will contest the Pasir Puteh parliamentary seat after serving as the Gaal asemblyman for two terms.

Nik Mohd Amar said about 30% are new faces, a regular feature in PAS renewal process, while all of the state PAS leaders will be defending their seats.

PAS strategist Zulkifli Mamat is also returning, by contesting the Pulai Chondong state seat after sitting out in 2008 to accommodate PKR secretary-general Saifuddin Nasution Ismail, who has switched over to the Kulim-Bandar Bahru parliament in Kedah.

The line-up is a potent one as it covers all areas of society in Kelantan, and it will compete well with Barisan Nasional, Nik Mohd Amar declared.

Another battle royale looming is PAS veteran Wan Abdul Rahim Wan Abdullah, 61, who will contest against Umno veteran Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah in Gua Musang.

Both will likely also stand for the last time as old age beckons.

Two veterans Abdul Halim Abdul Rahman and Abdul Fatah Harun have decided to retire gracefully, paving the way for younger leaders to stand.

A record number of people packed the municipal field here for the occassion where their presence had sparked a momentum for PAS to defend the state.


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