KUALA LUMPUR, July 23 ― Three Selangor PAS assemblymen confirmed today that they have joined Gerakan Harapan Baru (GHB), the precursor to a new party by PAS's ousted progressive faction.
The Star daily reported the trio as Morib assemblyman Hasnul Baharuddin, Hulu Kelang assemblyman Saari Sungib and Kota Raja MP Siti Mariah Mahmud.
“The party’s principles have changed and the damage in the party is beyond repair,” Hasnul was quoted as saying.
Saari said that PAS should have valued its relationship to the now-defunct Pakatan Rakyat coalition as the Islamic party’s reaction to cut ties with coalition partner DAP has led to irreparable damage.
“PAS should have appreciated and valued its relationship with the Pakatan partners However, things have changed and the party leadership cannot accept criticism.
“The damage has been done and it is beyond repair,” Saari was also quoted saying.
Although Siti did not say if she had quit PAS, she did confirm that she was already a GHB member.
Hasnul and Saari were suspended for a year by PAS last October for breaking rank by supporting PKR president Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail as the Selangor mentri besar candidate when the party was supporting Azmin Ali.
GHB was launched last week by PAS’s defeated professionals and is expected to be formally registered as a new political party under a new name on September 14.
The group’s chairman Mohamad Sabu, or better known as Mat Sabu, said while the movement was supportive of hudud, the Islamic penal law that was the cause of a breakdown in the opposition Pakatan Rakyat pact, it will pursue this goal democratically.
Other personalities in the movement include PAS members such as former Kuala Selangor MP Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad, former Youth chief Suhaizan Kaiat, and others who were defeated in the Islamist party’s polls recently.
The new movement is a further step towards the formation of a substitute party to PAS in a new federal opposition pact.