Friday, February 13, 2015

MALAYSIA:::Tens of thousands bid farewell to Tok Guru / Thousands Pay Their Last Respects To Nik Aziz

It is a sombre morning in Kelantan as thousands make of their way to Pulau Melaka to pay their last respects to Nik Aziz Nik Mat, who had led the state as menteri besar for 23 years.

People has been making way to his house since last night, resulting in a sudden surge of vehicles in the sleepy hollow of Pulau Melaka.

Authorities have cordoned off the area, thus those visiting his home would have to make a 3km trek on foot.

The authorities are providing a shuttle service from the Sultan Muhammad IV stadium in Kota Bharu from 7.30am.

Funeral rites will be held at 10am at the mosque next to his home.

LIVE reports follows:

Reporting and photos by Nigel Aw, Zulaikha Zulkifli and Lim Huey Teng.

11.30am: While Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak was spotted in a police car heading from Nik Aziz's house to the burial ground some 500m away in a police patrol car, PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang was spotted leaving the area riding pillion on a motorcycle.

11am: Funeral rites are almost complete and the crowd is slowly dispersing.

10.40am: The casket bearing Nik Aziz remain's is seen being carried by his family members along Jalan long sulaiman to the burial site nearby.

PAS leaders including Dr Hatta Ramli and Dzulkefly Ahmad is spotted leading the group in front.

At times the crowd would rush forward to see Nik Aziz's remains, creating a chaotic scene due to the pushing and shoving.

10.32am: The congregation trickling out to the burial ground are asked to make a path for an entourage to pass through.

Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak is seen in one of the police vehicles heading towards the burial grounds.

10.18am: There is little police presence among the 10,000 congregation. Some are seen shaking the few police officers' hands to thank them for their service.

10.00am: The sea of well-wishers start moving to the burial grounds 600 metres away.

From a vantage point, the thousands in white skull caps walking silently to pay their last respects paints a touching picture.

Curious onlookers have climbed onto cars and even abandoned houses to catch a glimpse.

9.45am: PKR legal bureau chief Latheefa Koya says PKR de facto leader Anwar Ibrahim family had requested that Anwar be let out of prison today to pay respects to Nik Aziz.

The family is likely to miss the funeral because the only time they can see Anwar at the Sungai Buloh prison today is at 2pm.

9.35am: Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak enters the compound, the crowd breaks into chorus of "Allahuakbar".

He is clad in white baju melayu and songkok. He is making is way through the sea of people with some difficulty.

He is shaking hands with many of the people here.

9.30am: Even as the mercury rises, more people are making their way to Pulau Melaka and are gathering along the Jalan Long Sulaiman and praying under the heat.

According to national news agency Bernama, the crowd is now in the "tens of thousands".

9:20am: A slight commotion occurs in the mosques as the emcee urge the public and the media not to take photographs or make video recordings of Nik Aziz's remains.

The body is on brief display for the mourners.

"This is the family's wishes, anyone who see pictures being taken, please take away their phones," said the emcee.

Some began shouting at those recording inside the mosque, prompting thec emcee to intervene and urge for calm.

9.15am: To the surprise of many, Lim Guan Eng is invited to address the crowd.

There was a lot of murmurs as this was announced.

Guan Eng says Nik Aziz has mentored many Pakatan Rakyat chief ministers and menteri besar.

"Nik Aziz is not only revered by Muslims but also admired by non-Muslims.

"For DAP, we hope Tok Guru's example of helping to form Pakatan Rakyat can continue," he said.

9.10am: The acronym "TGNA" and the term "Tok Guru", along with "Hasbullah Awang", is now trending on Twitter.

9.05am: PAS secretary-general Mustafa Ali addresses the congregation from inside the mosque.

He says DAP Parliamentary leader Lim Kit Siang and DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng are present after flying in from Penang this morning.

He also notes that Nik Aziz's passing coincides with the imprisonment with opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim.
"Whatever happens to us, we will continue to fight.

"Remember Nik Aziz's advice that eventh ough leaders are no more, we must continue our struggle," said Mustafa as the congegation replied with "Allahuakbar"

9am: Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak's jet is making its landing approach at the Sultan Ismail Petra airport.

8.30am: Kelantan Menteri Besar Ahmad Yaakob address the congregation and thank them for coming.

"Kelantan has lost a great leader," a sombre lookinng Ahmad says.

Earlier, an announcement was made, informing the congregation that Nik Aziz's remains will be carried out of the mosque at 10am.

The congregation was also urged not to touch the remains as only Nik Aziz's children are the only ones allowed to handle the remains.

8.15am: At least three thousand people have converged in the vicinity of Nik Aziz's home.

A mosque is located inside the compounds of his residence. People are here to conduct prayers after Nik Aziz's remains is cleansed.

However, the compound has reached saturation point and many people are laying mats on the road just outside to participate in the prayers.

Along Jalan Long Sulaiman, thousands more are making a beeline for Nik Aziz's home. It is estimated that the queue is 2km long.

8am: It is a busy morning at Sultan Ismail Petra airport in Pengkalan Chepa as a large number of people arrive to pay their last respects to Nik Aziz.

The state government has provided shuttles to Pulau Melaka for VIPs and media personnel.

Among those spotted on the earliest flight from Kuala Lumpur are PAS central committee members Dzulkefly Ahmad and Hanipa Maidin.

Thousands Pay Their Last Respects To Nik Aziz

KOTA BAHARU, Feb 13 (Bernama) -- Thousands of well-wishers paid their last respects to the late PAS spiritual leader Datuk Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat at his residence in Pulau Melaka here, Friday.

They arrived as soon as news of his death at 9.40 Thursday night was announced.

Nik Abdul Aziz, 84, who was a former Kelantan menteri besar for more than two decades since 1990, passed away at his residence after suffering from prostate cancer for some time.

The number of visitors grew larger since early this morning.

Those who were present included PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang, DAP advisor Lim Kit Siang and Penang chief minister Lim Guan Eng.

His remains were being placed at the Pulau Melaka Mosque located near Nik Abdul Aziz's house for the people to pay their last respects.

Members of the public are prohibited from taking photographs at the request of the family.

The funeral prayers were expected to be held at 10am before burial at the Pulau Melaka Muslim cemetery, here.


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