Leaders of Gerakan Harapan Baru (GHB) organised a harapan baru (new hope) dialogue with the public on Sunday, July 26 at the Symphony Suites Hotel. Some 500 Ipohites of all races and creed attended the animated discussion along with elected state representatives from Pakatan Rakyat. A number of non-governmental organisations members were also present.
Former Menteri Besar and state opposition leader, Dato’ Seri Ir Haji Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin and now Harapan Baru (Perak) deputy chairman, gave an inspiring speech prior to the dialogue.
“We’re not the frustrated lot, as alleged, to form a new political party. We’re together with NGOs to form this new party as a sign of inclusivity,” he emphasised. “The membership of Harapan Baru is open to Malaysians of all ethnicities, as long as he or she is 16 years and above. We worked in PAS for the last 20, 30 years based on Islamic principles, therefore, when we’re ousted we’ll still work based on the same Islamic principles,” he reiterated.
Present at the dialogue were Dr Lee Boon Chye, Member of Parliament for Gopeng and former state legislative assembly speaker and Member of Parliament for Batu Gajah, V. Sivakumar.
“Presently Gerakan Harapan Baru is an NGO and will remain so until we obtain the status of political party. Right now we want to gather as much grassroots support as possible while preparing a solid foundation for the party,” explained Gerakan Harapan Baru chairman, Haji Mohamad Sabu, formerly the Deputy President of PAS.
Gerakan Harapan Baru will provide Malaysian Muslims with an alternative to PAS and UMNO and since membership is open to all Malaysians, the participation of non-Muslims will be not be an issue.
“There’s hope now for Malaysians with Gerakan Harapan Baru,” said a Malay gentleman to Ipoh Echo.