Penang, Jan 27 – PAS spiritual leader Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat decided to celebrate his 82nd birthday by paying DAP chairperson Karpal Singh a visit in Penang.
Although the duo often cross swords over the PAS’ Islamic state ambitions, they were all smiles today.
Nik Aziz was also presented a birthday cake, during the 20-minute event attended by a large number of Penang Pakatan Rakyat leaders.
Getting to Karpal’s house was no simple feat for Nik Aziz, whose driver had to gingerly inch his way towards the Jalan Scotland abode, which is hosting Thaipusam celebrations.
An elated Karpal toldMalaysiakini that Nik Aziz arrived 30 minutes ahead of time.
“I was still bathing but rushed down to meet him. He was fit and jovial. I am really happy to see him.
“His presence sends a strong message that our unity is as strong as ever, despite all that happened,” he stressed.
“We understand each other well and we accept our differences.”
Long time comrades
Karpal, the Bukit Gelugor MP, remembers Nik Aziz fondly as the MP who sat beside him in Parliament in 1978.
“We go a long way. His visit here goes beyond just visiting me during Thaipusam,” said Karpal.
“It was a good gesture by Nik Aziz. He expressed his desire to see me through Penang PKR Batu Uban assemblyman and state vice-chief S Raveentharan and I agreed,” he added.
The visit comes after a series of rallies supposedly held by Penang PAS members against Karpal for purportedly interfering in the statement by the PAS syura council that non-Muslims should not use the word ‘Allah’ in their scriptures.
PAS has denied organising the rallies, saying it was probably held by a “small group of disgruntled members”.
Conflict over the word ‘Allah’ reignited following Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng’s Christmas message urging the federal government to its use in Malay bibles in Sabah and Sarawak as had been done since historical times.
Lim’s call is consistent with the Kuala Lumpur High Court ruling in 2010 over the matter, that is now pending an appeal from the government.
His message created a storm among his opponents, with Perkasa president Ibrahim Ali in his latest move calling for the Malay and Jawi bibles be burned as a warning those whom the latter claimed were purportedly going against the federal constitution.