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Gerakan Harapan Baru (GHB) has announced that it will take over the Malaysian Workers Party and rename it as Parti Amanah Negara.

GHB head Mohamad Sabu said the details would be revealed at an official launch on Sept 16.

Mohamad, the pro-tem head of the new party, said Parti Amanah Negara expects to have 35,000 members by the time of its launch.

He explained that it was difficult to get a new political party registered and thus GHB had decided to adopt a dormant party instead.

"On this auspicious day, we, Gerakan Harapan Baru, officially announce that we have decided to emerge though a labour party called Workers Party," said Mohamad, who is widely known as Mat Sabu.

The Malaysian Workers Party was established in 1978 by Ganga Nayar, the first female to head a political party in Malaysia. The party's only electoral outing was during the 1978 general election.

Mat Sabu is slated to head the new party's pro-tem committee with Salahuddin Ayub as his deputy and Ahmad Awang as adviser.

The new party would be committed to continue the legacy of Islamic struggle left by Yusuf Rawa, Fadhil Noor and Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat, Mat Sabu vowed.

"We will continue the momentum of political reform based on consensus policy with DAP, PKR and the establishment of Pakatan Rakyat 2.0," he added.

Islamic, but inclusive

Stressing the new party would be "inclusive", Mat Sabu said they would be able to recruit Muslims members even without the word Islam in the new name.

"No, I don’t think it will have an impact. We have an inclusive nature that will draw support from both Muslims and non-Muslims.”

Meanwhile, Ahmad ( photo ) dismissed suggestions that those holding public office in GHB should resign. Instead, he said, lawmakers in PAS should resign because they were voted in under the now-defunct Pakatan Rakyat coaltion.

"When the elections took place, those who contested for PAS did so under a Pakatan. In Terengganu, DAP does not have a single seat but DAP helped gain Chinese support for PAS there.

"DAP was even willing to use the PAS logo when it was threatened with deregistration.

"It is those who had worked towards the collapse of Pakatan who should resign from their positions because they had worked against the interests of Pakatan,” Ahmad said.

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