KUALA LUMPUR: Umno does not intend to gag its leaders or members including Padang Rengas MP Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz from voicing out their views, says Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan.
"This is a free country. This is a democratic country.
"They can say anything as a leader but they should know what is detrimental to the party and the country. We do not impose any conditions," said the Umno deputy president.
He, however, warned Umno leaders to be careful when they make comments.
He was responding to a question whether Umno would gag Nazri for having ruffled up ties between the party and its fellow partners in the Barisan Nasional coalition.
"As Rantau by-election is looming, I say be careful. Sometimes, they do not say but you (media) spin. That is the problem," said Mohamad, who will be contesting in Rantau.
The Rantau by-election was triggered following the Federal Court's decision to uphold an earlier ruling by an Election Court to nullify the Rantau GE14 results.
In GE14, Mohamad won the state seat in Negri Sembilan unopposed.
Mohamad was speaking at a press conference after chairing an Umno supreme council meeting at the party's headquarters here on Thursday (March 7).
MCA and MIC had lashed out at racial remarks by Nazri, who is also the Barisan secretary-general, during the Semenyih by-election campaign.
On Monday (March 4), MCA and MIC declared their intention to forge a new alliance, with both parties blaming Nazri for further straining ties in the troubled Barisan.
On Tuesday (March 5), the two parties issued a joint statement saying they were opposed to Nazri attending the upcoming Barisan supreme council meeting to discuss the future of the coalition.
They said Nazri's appointment as Barisan secretary-general was unconstitutional and was never formally discussed with the coalition's supreme council.
Barisan leaders will meet on Friday (March 8) and is expected to address the issue of the grouses of MCA and MIC.
Nazri said he will skip the event so that MCA and MIC will attend the meeting.