KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 31 — Gerakan Harapan Baru (HB) today announced it will take over the Malaysian Workers’ Party, as they launched efforts to secure 35,000 members by next month.
HB chairman Mohamad Sabu said they are in the midst of discussing a name change to the party with the Registrar of Societies (RoS).
“We wanted the name, Parti Progresif Islam (PPI) but since it is difficult to get approval, we have decided to appear under a political party for workers, Malaysian Workers’ Party,” he said at a news conference here.
“We will try to change the name to Parti Amanah Negara… our membership target is 35,000 members by next month,” he said, adding that they will announce the RoS’ final decision on the matter on September 16.
The RoS had rejected an earlier bid by HB to register as a party over the inclusion of the word Islam in its proposed name.
HB comprises former PAS leaders from the Islamist party’s so-called progressive faction, which was nearly wiped out from PAS’ top leadership in the recent party polls.
Mohamad Sabu – who was PAS deputy president until recently – was among those who were rejected by PAS delegates.
Members of HB claim that they are intent on presenting a more universal and inclusive form of Islam in Malaysian politics as a counterpoint to their former party’s conservative take on the religion.