KUALA LUMPUR: PAS splinter group Gerakan Harapan Baru (GHB) has announced the formation of Parti Amanah Negara, a new political party that is a re-branding of an existing one.
Its president Mohamad Sabu (pic) said they were taking over the old Malaysian Workers' Party (MWP), and would be registering its new name with the Registrar of Societies.
"We chose to take over this party because the Home Ministry rejected our application to set up a new party named Parti Progresif Islam.
"Despite the takeover, we will remain true to our Islamic struggles and principles," he told a press conference here on Monday.
Mohamad said that with this announcement, GHB members and leaders are officially no longer members of PAS.
MWP was founded in 1978 by Ganga Nayar, but has not been in politics since the general election that same year.
Asked what kind of agreement GHB had with MWP for the takeover, Mohamad said they were only given one condition.
"They told us not to ever cooperate with Barisan Nasional and Umno, and that was it," he said.
He said the once the new name was approved by the RoS, they would launch the Amanah party on Sept 16 to coincide with Malaysia Day.
Mohamad, who is also known as Mat Sabu, said they would continue cooperating with existing Opposition parties, including state governments in Penang, Selangor and Kelantan.
"By Sept 16, we will have about 35,000 new members and after that, state committees will be set up," he said.
He also announced the party's new line-up, mainly consisting of former PAS leaders ousted during party elections in June.
Mohamad named former PAS syura council member Ahmad Awang as the adviser, former PAS vice-president Salahuddin Ayub as his deputy and former central committee member Datuk Dr Mujahid Yusof Rawa as vice-chairman.
Ikram deputy president Hasanuddin Mohd Yunus was appointed as Amanah vice-chairman. He then announced his resignation from the Islamic NGO upon his appointment in the new party.
Former PAS women's wing vice chief Dr Siti Mariah Mahmud was appointed as the Amanah women's chief and former PAS Youth election director, Mohd Sany Hamzan as the new party's Youth chief.
Former PAS central committee member Mohd Anuar Tahir was named secretary-general, while former PAS treasurer-general Asmuni Awi is to hold the same position in the new party.
The committee members, among others, include, Dr Hatta Ramli, Khalid Samad, Datuk Seri Nizar Jamaluddin, Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad, Datuk Phahrolrazi Mohd Zawawi, Shaari Sungib, Hasnul Baharudin and Hu Pang Chow, former PAS supporters club president.
Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi had said that the RoS had rejected the application from Gerakan Harapan Baru (GHB) to name its newly-formed party as the Progressive Islamic Party.
He said this was because Islam belonged to all Muslims and the use of its name for political parties would only cause confusion.