KOTA BHARU (Feb 13): Thousands came to pay their last respects to former Kelantan menteri besar Datuk Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat who was laid to rest here this morning.
The final prayers for the PAS spiritual leader were held at 10am and presided over by PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang.
Nik Aziz's remains were then taken to the Pulau Melaka Muslim cemetery, accompanied by his family members.
He was laid to rest about 11.30am next to the grave of his father, Nik Mat Raja Banjar, who died some 40 years ago, Bernama reported.
Also present at the final prayers for the PAS spiritual leader was Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak.
Hadi, Kelantan Menteri Besar Datuk Ahmad Yakob and many other PAS leaders then accompanied the body to the cemetery.
Pakatan Rakyat leaders, who were also present, included DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng, PAS secretary-general Datuk Mustafa Ali and DAP parliamentary leader Lim Kit Siang.
Among other leaders at the funeral were Selangor Menteri Besar Azmin Ali, Kedah Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Mukhriz Mahathir, Kelantan Deputy Menteri Besar Datuk Nik Mohd Amar Nik Abdullah, PAS deputy president Salahuddin Ayub, Umno veteran and Gua Musang MP Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah.
Those who came to bid Nik Aziz goodbye had to walk more than 2km as the road leading to his home was closed.
Six buses were made available at the Sultan Mohamad stadium to ferry members of the public to Pulau Melaka to pay their respects.
Nik Aziz succumbed to prostate cancer, which he has been fighting for about five years, at his home in Pulau Melaka at 9.45pm yesterday.
He was taken home at 8.45pm from Hospital Universiti Sains Malaysia where he had been warded since January 19.
Nik Aziz, who was also the Cempaka state assemblyman, contested in his first general election in 1967, the same year he joined PAS.
He won the Kelantan Hilir parliamentary seat (later renamed to Pengkalan Chepa) and retained the seat until 1986.
Nik Aziz first contested a state seat in 1986. He was appointed the Kelantan menteri besar after PAS won the state in 1990.
The following year, he was appointed PAS spiritual leader after Haji Yusof Rawa, who had previously held the position, died.
Nik Aziz stepped down as menteri besar on May 6, 2013, despite winning the Chempaka state seat in the 13th general election.
He leaves behind wife Datin Tuan Sabariah Tuan Ishak and 10 children, including Pasir Mas MP Nik Mohd Abduh Nik Aziz.