The professional faction, which was defeated in the PAS polls last month, has announced the setting up of a new entity called 'Gerakan Harapan Baru'.

Spearheaded by former PAS deputy president Mohamad Sabu, it would facilitate the formation of a new Islamic-based political party in the future and struggle towards the establishment of Pakatan Rakyat 2.0.

"Gerakan Harapan Baru or Harapan Baru aims to once again turn the wheels on political cooperation between parties, NGOs and the people.

"Harapan Baru will embrace an inclusive and progressive approach, and care for the people," said Mohamad Sabu, who is popularly known as Mat Sabu.

He stressed that the group is committed to offering the true brand of Islam under the 'Blessings for All' concept in ensuring justice and representation for all Malaysians.

"We adhere to democratic values and respect the position of all races, religions and cultures," he added.

Also present at the press conference were Ahmad Awang (who challenged PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang), (former Selangor menteri besar) Muhammad Muhammad Taib, (former Youth chief) Suhaizan Kayat, (son of former PAS president Fadzil Noor) Faiz Fadzil, (former central committee members) Mujahid Rawa and Dzulkefly Ahmad, (former vice-president) Salahuddin Ayub, Shah Alam MP Khalid Samad and others.

The group's official announcement signifies further speculations that a progressive Islamic party will be groomed to join a new Pakatan with DAP.

Pro tem committee members still with PAS

Mat Sabu (photo) however did not say whether Harapan Baru had registered with the Registrar of Society (ROS) or not, merely commenting everything is in due process.

He said all in the Harapan Baru pro tem committee are still PAS members.

Pro tem committee member Asmuni Awi told Malaysiakinithat Harapan Baru is not an NGO but an outlet for the PAS professional group to help pave their way to a new party.

The entity also received support from several Islamic NGOs such as Pertubuhan Ummah Sejahtera Malaysia (PasMa), Pertubuhan Ikram Malaysia (Ikram) and  Muslim Youth Movement of Malaysia (Abim).

Meanwhile, Dzulkefly said non-Muslims are also welcomed to join the entity with membership divided into two tiers - full and associate members.

"The associate members, open to Muslims and non-Muslims, don't sign up as full members for reasons that they believe on the fight for the party's cause  but at the same time cannot give commitment to vote or hold positions (within the group)," he said.

Harapan Baru will commence a roadshow all over the country from July 19 to August 29 to meet and greet the public.