Parti Amanah Negara in Johor (2017)
birth, challenges and prospects
in: Trends in Southeast Asia, 2017 no. 9
In 2015, a new party called Parti Amanah Negara (Amanah) was formed following the departure of progressive Islamists from the Parti Islam Se-Malaysia (PAS), leaving the latter to be a party dominated by conservative Islamists. Much of the groundwork for the formation of Amanah took place in Malaysia's southern state of Johor. A prominent Johor PAS activist, Mazlan Aliman, was among the first to propagate the idea that a new, progressive platform needed to be formed. This eventually led to the "Bakri Declaration" which forms the basis for the establishment of Amanah. Working in the Pakatan Harapan national opposition coalition, Amanah is eyeing for around a third of the state legislative assembly seats in Johor. It has potential in constituencies with mixed-ethnicity voter demographics, especially those with 30-45 per cent Chinese voters. Johor PAS is badly affected by the crossing over of a sizeable portion of their active members and leaders to Amanah. In the next election, it is likely that PAS will be decimated in the state if it refuses to partner with any other mainstream parties.