SHAH ALAM (Malaysia) • A huge crowd has turned up for the launch of Parti Amanah Negara (Amanah), with many attired in orange, the official colour of the new Islamist party, which is a splinter of the opposition Parti Islam SeMalaysia (PAS).
In his address on Wednesday, Amanah pro-tem president Mohamad Sabu said the party was conceptualised due to what he claimed was the crisis situation in the country.
"Our country has lost its competitive edge and is facing acute currency depreciation. We are no longer the choice destination for investors," he added, at the event held at a convention centre.
Better known as Mat Sabu, the former PAS deputy president said Amanah was very committed to continuing the Islamic political legacy of former PAS presidents Yusuf Rawa and Fadzil Noor, both of whom are dead, and late spiritual leader Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat.
While upholding Islamic principles, he said Amanah would be inclusive and non-discriminatory, and would not marginalise any segment of Malaysian society.
He said it was important that Amanah be different in its approach due to the country's multi-racial and multi-religious set up.
"The Islam that we will propagate will be different from the ideology which emphasises on Malay-Muslim supremacy," he said.
Mat Sabu said the Malay-Muslim supremacy concept created an impression that those from other religions and cultures were "enemies", and that Islam and Malays were constantly under attack by other races.
Secretary-general Mohd Anuar Mohd Tahir said that so far, 30,018 people have registered as Amanah members, with a majority from Kelantan.
"We have 9,000 members from Kelantan, 6,000 in Johor and almost 6,000 in Selangor. Even a small state like Perlis has 1,000 members,'' he added.
He also said yesterday that it was a "coincidence" that the party's logo is similar to Barisan Sosialis, a local political coalition that existed in the 60s.
"On the issue that the logo is similar to another political movement, it might have been a coincidence and we are aware of it. We truly appreciate the views and comments from the people, and will discuss with those involved in it," he said in a statement.
Amanah's logo is green in colour. The design of the logo has a chain, and in the middle of the chain, there is a hoe overlapping it.
THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK