KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 15 — Tan Sri Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah said today Datuk Seri Najib Razak has every right to voice out his opinions without restrictions, as the latter is still an MP.
“He is free to do so. Why should he follow the lead of (Tun Dr) Mahathir and Pak Lah (former prime minister Tun Abdullah Badawi)? It is their style to do so,” the Umno veteran said to reporters at the Dewan Rakyat today.
The Gua Musang MP was responding to former Tourism and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz’s remarks yesterday, who said Najib should distance himself from Umno and allow his successor Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi to lead the party.
Nazri had said that Najib ought to do as Dr Mahathir and Abdullah had done when they relinquished the post of party president by keeping away from Umno.
“Remember that Tun did not contest in any general election after relinquishing the post, nor was he an MP after that. Likewise, Pak Lah was only briefly an MP after that he stepped down as well,” said Tengku Razleigh.
As to whether Najib should distance himself due to the accusations against him, he said plenty of other MPs have also been accused of various things but still remain in service.
“My view is that as long as one is not convicted in court, then one is innocent. Only when he has been convicted is he guilty,” said Tengku Razleigh.
He added that Umno itself has no specific rule in restricting its members from voicing out their opinions unless they were advised to back off.
“If that is the case, then it is the only measuring stick or guideline we have,” said Tengku Razleigh.