Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat

Nik Abdul Aziz bin Nik Mat (Jawi: نئ عبد العزيز بن نئ مت; 10 January 1931 – 12 February 2015) was a Malaysian politician and Muslim cleric. He was the Menteri Besar of Kelantan from 1990 to 2013 and the Mursyidul Am or Spiritual Leader of the Pan-Malaysian Islamic Party (PAS) from 1991 until his death in 2015. Overall, his career as an elected politician lasted for some 48 years following his election to the Parliament of Malaysia in 1967.

Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat
نئ عبد العزيز نئ مت
Nik Aziz Kelantan.jpg
18th Menteri Besar of Kelantan
In office
22 October 1990 – 6 May 2013
MonarchSultan Ismail Petra
Sultan Muhammad V
DeputyAhmad Yaakob
Preceded byMohamed Yaacob
Succeeded byAhmad Yaakob
2nd Spiritual Leader of Malaysian Islamic Party
In office
1991 – 12 February 2015
Preceded byYusof Rawa
Succeeded byHaron Din
Member of the Malaysian Parliament
for Pengkalan Chepa
In office
Preceded byNew constituency
Succeeded byNik Abdullah Arshad
Member of the Malaysian Parliament
for Kelantan Hilir
In office
Preceded byAhmad Abdullah
Succeeded byConstituency abolished
Member of the Kelantan State Assembly
for Chempaka
In office
1995 – 12 February 2015
Preceded byNew constituency
Succeeded byAhmad Fathan Mahmood
Member of the Kelantan State Assembly
for Semut Api
In office
Preceded byWan Mamat Wan Yusof
Succeeded byConstituency abolished
PAS Head of the Ulama Wing
In office
Kelantan Pan-Malaysian Islamic Party Commissioner
In office
Succeeded byAhmad Yaakob
Personal details
Nik Abdul Aziz bin Nik Mat

(1931-01-10)10 January 1931
Kampung Pulau Melaka, Kota Bharu, Kelantan, British Malaya (now Malaysia)
Died12 February 2015(2015-02-12) (aged 84)
Kampung Pulau Melaka, Kota Bharu, Kelantan, Malaysia
Resting placeTanah Perkuburan Pulau Melaka, Kota Bharu, Kelantan, Malaysia
Political partyPan-Malaysian Islamic Party (PAS)
Other political
Alliance (1972-1973)
Barisan Nasional (BN) (1973-1978)
Angkatan Perpaduan Ummah (APU) (1990-1996)
Barisan Alternatif (BA) (1999-2004)
Pakatan Rakyat (PR) (2008-2015)
Spouse(s)Tuan Sabariah Tuan Ishak (m. 1963-2015, his death)
RelationsTuan Ibrahim Tuan Man (nephew)
Nik Muhammad Zawawi Salleh (nephew)
Ahmad Dusuki Abdul Rani (nephew)
ChildrenNik Aini
Nik Omar
Nik Adli
Nik Abdul Rahim
Nik Mohamad Abduh
Nik Adilah
Nik Mohamad Asri
Nik Amani
Nik Amalina
Nik Asma' Salsabila
Parent(s)Nik Mat Raja Banjar
Aminah Abdul Majid
Alma materAl-Azhar University
Darul Uloom Deoband

Early lifeEdit

Nik Abdul Aziz was born in Kota Bharu in 1931 as the second of five siblings. He was raised by a single father (Tok Kura) who was an aspiring blacksmith.[1] Nik Aziz's Islamic studies began in pondok schools in Kelantan and Terengganu.[2] He went on to study at Darul Uloom Deoband in Uttar Pradesh, India for five years. He obtained his Bachelor of Arts in Arabic Studies and Master of Arts in Islamic jurisprudence from Al-Azhar University, Egypt. During his university studies, he was one of the witnesses and a civilian to have lived in the heat of the Arab-Israeli Conflict.[3]

Having returned from Egypt, Nik Aziz worked as a teacher at various religious schools in Kelantan including his father's pondok (religious school). Nik Aziz started to teach at various mosques and Pondok within Kelantan and other states. He became a respected Islamic scholar earning the nickname "Tok Guru."[2] (means 'Master/sifu of Scholar or teacher' in Malay)[citation needed]

Political careerEdit

Nik Aziz joined PAS in 1967. He contested and won the Kelantan Hilir parliamentary seat by-election in that same year, and held the seat (later renamed Pengkalan Chepa) until 1986.[2] In 1982, he was part of a movement by young members to bring change to the party leadership. PAS had lost the Kelantan state elections in 1978 and, as PAS state commissioner, Nik Aziz began to question president Asri Muda's leadership. Finally, in the PAS Muktamar (General Assembly) that year, Asri was forced to resign.[3]

After stepping aside from federal politics, Nik Aziz won a seat in the Kelantan State Assembly in the 1986 general elections. In 1990, PAS managed to wrest control of Kelantan back from Barisan Nasional. In his capacity as party leader in the state, Nik Aziz became Menteri Besar of Kelantan.[2] He succeeded Yusof Rawa as spiritual leader of PAS in 1991.

Nik Aziz's government was re-elected on four occasions (1995, 1999, 2004, 2008), until his retirement in 2013. During the 1990s, his administration in Kelantan frequently clashed on the role of Islam in Malaysia with the then Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad. In contrast with the racially exclusive ruling party UMNO, he openly rejected communal politics.[4]

Nik Aziz commanded support from a large number of non-Muslims in Malaysia and played a leading role during PAS' increase in popularity among non-Muslims.[5][6][7]

In May 2013, Nik Aziz publicly stated that he did not consent on any co-operation between United Malays National Organisation (UMNO) and Malaysian Islamic Party (PAS) as long as he was alive.[8] However, in September 2019, when PAS and UMNO signed the formal charter of alliance, PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang claimed that Nik Aziz had already consented to the cooperation while he was alive.[9]


Hardline viewsEdit

Nik Aziz drew some criticism for his hardline Islamic views. His advocacy of Islamic shariah law for all Malay Muslims drew criticism[citation needed]. According to Fox News, Nik Aziz suggested that women would be at a lower risk of being raped if they abandoned using their lipstick and perfume.[10] He was also recorded once stating that fashionable and sexy-dressing women deserved to be raped during a speech.[11]

The "Allah" issueEdit

In 2012, there was an issue of Catholics in Malaysia using the Arabic term for "God"; "Allah" in their Christian Bible. Initially, Nik Aziz stated that the word "Allah" can be used by non-Muslims as the origin of the word itself is evidently pre-Islamic. The issue caused a stir in the Muslim community. The PAS party was almost divided into two blocs; one that supported the use of the word, and one that did not. Aiming to restore unity in PAS, Nik Aziz took back his words and disapproved of the word "Allah" being used by non-Muslims.[12]

Son detained under ISAEdit

His son Nik Adli was held under the Malaysian Internal Security Act in 2001 for alleged terrorist activities including planning jihad, possession of weapons, and membership in the Kumpulan Mujahidin Malaysia (KMM), an Islamist extremist group.[13][14][15][16] After 5 years in detention without trial, he was released.[17]

Retirement and deathEdit

During the 2013 election, PAS once again won a majority of seats to form a Kelantan state government. Nik Aziz announced his retirement as Chief Minister of Kelantan, the post he held since 1990. His successor is Nik Aziz's former deputy Chief Minister Ahmad Yaakob, who took over his office to replace him as Kelantan's Chief Minister. Over the ensuing two years, Nik Aziz became increasingly ill with prostate cancer, and died on 12 February 2015(2015-02-12) (aged 84) at 9.40 p.m. Malaysia Standard Time (UTC+08:00); at his residence in Kampung Pulau Melaka, Kota Bharu. The following day, more than 10,000 people attended his funeral at Masjid Tok Guru, his local mosque.[18] His death triggered the Kelantan State Assembly seat of 2015 Chempaka by-election.[19]

Election resultsEdit

Parliament of Malaysia
Year Constituency Opposition Votes Pct Government Votes Pct Ballots cast Majority Turnout
1967 Kelantan Hilir Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat (PAS) 11,855 57.97% Tengku Noor Asiah Tengku Ahmad (UMNO) 8,596 42.03% 20,737 3,259 74.84%
1969 Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat (PAS) 13,635 60.73% Mohamed Salleh Ibrahim (UMNO) 8,817 39.27% 23,183 4,818 74.64%
1974 Pengkalan Chepa Umar Ibrahim (IND) 4,682 26.12% Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat (PAS)1 13,243 73.88% 19,278 8,561 62.10%
1978 Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat (PAS) 11,897 54.53% Muhammad Noor Ali (UMNO) 9,919 45.47% N/A 1,978 N/A
1982 Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat (PAS) 16,759 59.48% Hassan Harun (UMNO) 11,417 40.52% 28,907 5,342 78.73%
1986 Bachok Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat (PAS) 16,347 49.59% Mohd. Zain Abdullah (HAMIM) 16,617 50.41% 33,627 270 80.08%

Note: 1 PAS were in the Alliance (1972–1973) and later Barisan Nasional (1973–1978) coalition government.

Kelantan State Legislative Assembly
Year Constituency Government Votes Pct Opposition Votes Pct Ballots cast Majority Turnout
1986 Semut Api Hafsah Osman (UMNO) 4,094 39.64% Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat (PAS) 6,233 60.36% 10,754 2,139 74.97%
1990 Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat (PAS) 9,504 79.10% Wan Mat (UMNO) 2,511 20.90% 12,341 6,993 76.22%
1995 Chempaka Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat (PAS) 7,851 72.80% Yusuf Isa (UMNO) 2,934 27.20% 11,413 4,917 74.80%
1999 Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat (PAS) 8,649 74.48% Ropli Ishak (UMNO) 2,302 19.82% 11,801 6,347 78.26%
2004 Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat (PAS) 7,889 65.10% Ruhani Mamat (UMNO) 4,195 34.62% 12,407 3,694 81.47%
2008 Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat (PAS) 9,514 64.13% Nik Mohd Zain Omar (UMNO) 5,265 35.49% 15,077 4,249 84.62%
2013 Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat (PAS) 12,310 67.92% Wan Razman Wan Abdul Razak (UMNO) 5,810 32.06% 18,360 6,500 85.94%


Honours of MalaysiaEdit


  1. ^ Zulkifli Sulong (3 July 2010). "Meet Nik Aziz's brother, the teacher with a dream". Harakah. Retrieved 4 July 2010.[permanent dead link]
  2. ^ a b c d Menteri Besar Kelantan, Parti Islam Semalaysia (PAS), archived from the original on 22 July 2011, retrieved 13 June 2010
  3. ^ a b Abdul Razak Ahmad (8 May 2007). "76 and frail, yet he's still the one they want". New Straits Times. New Straits Times Press.
  4. ^ Shazwan Mustafa Kamal (9 June 2010). "Nik Aziz says 'no way' to PAS-Umno unity talks". The Malaysian Insider. Archived from the original on 12 June 2010. Retrieved 13 June 2010.
  5. ^ Wong, Chin Huat (27 August 2009). "Can PAS manage victory?". The Nut Graph.
  6. ^ Shazwan Mustafa Kamal (10 June 2010). "PAS succession plan not an issue, says Nik Aziz". The Malaysian Insider. Archived from the original on 13 June 2010. Retrieved 13 June 2010.
  7. ^ Zubaidah Abu Bakar (8 June 2010). "Pas fishing for non-Malay votes". New Straits Times.
  8. ^ "Tiada Penyatuan PAS-UMNO selagi saya hidup (There will no no cooperation between PAS and UMNO as long as I am alive" (in Malay). Harakah Daily. 29 May 2013. Retrieved 16 September 2019.
  9. ^ Nurul, Azwa Aris (14 September 2019). "PAS spiritual adviser Nik Aziz had agreed on cooperation, says Hadi". Free Malaysia Today. Archived from the original on 16 September 2019. Retrieved 16 September 2019.
  10. ^ "Cleric: Women's Sexy Clothing Distracting Muslim Men From Sleep, Prayers". Fox News. 13 January 2015.
  11. ^ Sira Habibu. "Video clip of Nik Aziz goes viral", The Star Online, 25 October 2012. Retrieved on 25 October 2012.
  12. ^ The Star. "Nik Aziz makes about-turn on ‘Allah’ use", Kota Bahru, 15 Januari 2013. Retrieved on 26 February 2013.
  13. ^ Kumpulan Mujahidin Malaysia (KMM)
  14. ^ Wong, Chun Wai; Charles, Lourdes (2 January 2003). "Nik Aziz's son named in report". The Star (Malaysia).
  15. ^ Kumpulan Mujahidin Malaysia
  16. ^ Background Information on Other Terrorist Groups US Department of State
  17. ^ MacIntyre, Ian; Zulklifli, C.A. (19 October 2006). "Nik Aziz's son freed with 10 others". The Star (Malaysia).
  18. ^ Lim Sue Goan (14 February 2014). "Pakatan sans Anwar, Nik Aziz". Sin Chew Jit Poh. Retrieved 11 March 2015.
  19. ^ "PAS spiritual leader Nik Aziz dies, by-election looms". Malay Mail. 13 February 2015. Retrieved 12 February 2015.
  20. ^ a b "SEMAKAN PENERIMA DARJAH KEBESARAN, BINTANG DAN PINGAT". Prime Minister's Department (Malaysia). Archived from the original on 29 September 2018. Retrieved 17 August 2021.

External linksEdit

Political offices
Preceded by Menteri Besar of Kelantan
22 October 1990 – 6 May 2013
Succeeded by
Parliament of Malaysia
Preceded by Member of Parliament for Kelantan Hilir
Succeeded by
Constituency abolished
Preceded by
New constituency
Member of Parliament for Pengkalan Chepa
Succeeded by
Preceded by
New constituency
Member of Kelantan State Assembly for Chempaka
1995 – 12 February 2015
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Wan Mamat Wan Yusof
Member of Kelantan State Assembly for Semut Api
Succeeded by
Constituency abolished
Party political offices
Preceded by Spiritual Leader of the Pan-Malaysian Islamic Party
1991 – 12 February 2015
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Pan-Malaysian Islamic Party Head of the Ulama Wing
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Kelantan Pan-Malaysian Islamic Party Commissioner
Succeeded by