In March, 1983, Hizbul Muslimin or Hamim was formed, a splinter party of PAS when a year before that, the ulamak took over the leadership of the party in lne with the global Islamic resurgence around the world, purging liberals.
Formed by ousted PAS president the late Tan Sri Asri Muda, the party lasted five years when Asri himself left as the response for the newly Islamic-based party received luke-warm response as Muslims continue to support PAS for its religious idealism – the setting up of an Islamic state and implementation of Hudud laws.
The party was left to die on its own in 1988.
Today, Monday, 13 July, 2015, saw PAS rejects, purged and disillusioned for not being voted in the leadership line-up during the party election in early June, setting up a movement that would be changed to a political party called Gerakan Harapan Baru which literally means New Hope Movement.
In the forefront is non-other than Mohamad Sabu, flanked by Parit Buntar MP Datuk Dr Mujahid Yusof Rawa, former Kuala Selangor MP who is also PAS former director of strategy Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad, Shah Alam MP Khalid Samad and former Selangor Menteri Besar who was also former Umno vice-president Tan Sri Muhammad Muhd Taib.
Mohamad or popularly known as Mad Sabu, lost his bid to retianed his deputy president post in the June party poll, said the movement carried the concept of Islam that perfectly matches with inclusivity, progressive and caring.
In short, the former PAS leaders who had advocated Islam as a way of life and Hudud was ultimate laws have now seems to have changed their philosophy, with Islamic state and Hudud laws taking a back seat.
With PAS and DAP officially cut ties in their political co-operation, the new movement whose leaders are close with DAP leaders, is expected to fill in the vacant lot left by PAS in the unregistered but successful opposition pact of Pakatan Rakyat (PR).
However, with DAP and PAS, now opening the options to all groups and political parties that care and wanted a Malaysian Malaysia, PAS rejects’ new movement is not expected to stand out as a replacement for PAS.
The PAS rejects had miscalculated their support during the June party poll when they failed to unseat incumbent president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang, thinking the emergence of young and intellectual members among the 2,000-odd delegates at the party assembly would support them.
Their mistake was allowing and highlighting the support of DAP leaders particularly secretary-general Lim Guan Eng towards their attempts to replace Hadi and the ulamak faction with the liberals.
And they may continue making the same mistake – setting a movement that will be a political party without ideology and philosophy that cater for a cross-section of the community who Mad Sabu claimed are without party.
Just like PKR which is leader-centric without real ideology and philosophy, PAS rejects’ new movement is similar in nature and form, riding on the high tide of disappointment of young voters towards the current Barisan Nasional (BN) rule.
The movement as of now lack pull – a leader that can rally support or an icon that the young voters or general public can relate to or look upon.
Like PKR which has Datuk seri Anwar Ibrahim, a known Islamic movement leader from his varsity days or Hizbul Muslimin where the late Asri was an Islamic figure nationally and internationally, Mad Sabu and his new movement is devoid of such figure.
With no real ideology or philosophy and obviously directionless, the new movement is just a movement of ‘displaced former PAS leaders’ who are shy to stay in the party after losing their positions, who attempt to stay afloat in the mainstream political arena.
Whether success will be with them is questionable but one thing is obvious – the ulamak leadership of PAS would not give even give a glance and DAP will not want to use them as the Chinese-based multi-racial party is now focusing on recruiting Malay members on its own.
The scenario does not look good for Mad Sabu and gang as they may end up just like Hizbul Muslimin, this time probably in a shorter span of time.