He rose by barking suitably loudly at the grassroot levels and maintaining the appropriate silence at international levels.
It is thus unfortunate that at the national level, he has lost his ability to conceal his stupidity - thanks to the mainstream media:
PUTRAJAYA, Nov 24 (Bernama) -- The fickleness of Kelantan Menteri Besar and PAS spiritual adviser Datuk Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat in making decisions is proof that the party leadership is weak, says Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin.
He observed that Nik Aziz was selective in making decisions, especially when it involved his personal interests, and was not firm, inconsistent and sometimes even contradictory on many matters.
"It is clear that the PAS leadership is inconsistent, vague and not transparent at all. To me, it shows a level of weakness in the PAS leadership," he told reporters after chairing the 7th meeting of the National Mineral Council, here, today.
Now I have gained the reputation for being a PAS basher.
If the truth be told, I have a low tolerance for people who dictate what women should wear, what people should or should not drink and where they can or cannot go.
But I have come to accept that Nik Aziz, the spiritual leader of PAS while eccentric (in my opinion), has one glaring characteristic - he is sincere to a fault.
I have the utmost respect and conviction that this old man is not swayed by money, popularity, pride or even family.
Since he has nothing to distract him, his focus is crystal clear and he couldn't be more purposeful in his direction.
The mainstream media has attempted to cloud my opinion of Tok Guru Nik Aziz Nik Mat on the issue of his son-in-law's alleged misappropriation of funds. It has failed miserably.
For I am reminded that this man is:
1. Humble enough to admit that he made a mistake in appointing his son-in-law to the position of power.
2. Sincere enough to reverse that mistake (at the risk of offending family members).
3. Consistent and transparent enough to do what is right without being intimidated by UMNO politicians and the mainstream media, who naturally had a field day with this issue.
Muhyiddin Yassin can call him a "flip-flop". The mainstream media may attempt to ridicule him.
But I am not gullible enough to believe them.