KOTA BARU (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - The Parti Islam SeMalaysia (PAS) said on Sunday (April 29) it is confident the Chempaka state seat in Kelantan will remain the party's stronghold despite the challenge by the son of the party's late spiritual leader Nik Aziz Nik Mat to contest there.
The late leader's eldest son Nik Omar Nik Aziz sprang a surprise at a nomination centre in Kelantan on Saturday, when he turned up to submit his nomination form to contest the seat as a candidate for the PAS splinter party, Parti Amanah Negara. He had earlier indicated that he would not be contesting.
Amanah is one of the four parties that make up the opposition Pakatan Harapan (PH) pact.
Chempaka was held by Datuk Nik Aziz until his death in February 2015 at the age of 84. The revered Nik Aziz was the spiritual leader of PAS and also former Kelantan menteri besar.
Nik Omar, who is the second son of Nik Aziz, is in a three-cornered fight against Mohamed Fareez Noor Amran of Barisan Nasional and incumbent Ahmad Fathan Mahmood @ Mahamad of PAS.
Kelantan PAS secretary Che Abdullah Mat Nawi reminded Nik Omar of his own late father's advice to those who wish to go against the state government.
"This is because his late father, or fondly known as Tok Guru, has given us a clear reminder not to betray the state government," he told a press conference on Sunday (April 29).
"It came out from Tok Guru's own mouth when he was still alive. So whoever that takes a stand against that will go nowhere," he said.
Nik Omar's younger brother, Nik Mohamad Abduh, the fifth sibling and the incumbent Pasir Mas MP, is also contesting as a PAS candidate for the Bachok parliamentary seat.
Nik Omar has said that his decision to contest on the PH ticket was to continue his father's legacy in the constituency.
Ahmad Fathan won the seat in a by-election held following the death of Nik Aziz in 2015.
Che Abdullah however acknowledged that Nik Omar had a right to contest the Chempaka seat.
"We welcome Nik Omar to contest in the seat as this is a democratic country. When there is a contest, we will offer the best and let the rakyat decide," he said.