KLANG, Sept 26 — The Sultan of Selangor took the unusual step of publicly stating his regard for Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim, the former state mentri besar at the centre of a prolonged leadership crisis this year, saying that the man was the victim of smear campaigning by his own party, PKR.
Using his speech to attack Pakatan Rakyat, the Sultan said Khalid had executed the duties of a mentri besar “successfully and perfectly” and that the leadership crisis was triggered by Pakatan Rakyat’s plans to oust Khalid by engineering a by-election in Kajang to allow de facto opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim to enter the fray.
He said repeated accusations had been aimed at Khalid to force him to step down and that the tactic had been employed through the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan despite the palace’s reminders about maintaining the sanctity of the month.
“But PKR still carried on their agenda even during the holy month of Ramadhan by insulting and hurling accusations until they were successful in their attempt to remove Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim as Selangor mentri besar,” the Sultan said today after a ceremony to swear in the new executive state councillors.
Khalid has had a “good and smooth working relationship with the palace,” the Sultan added.
Later, Azmin Ali, the new Selangor mentri besar limited his comment on the Sultan’s remarks to a single note of praise
“It is good advice,” he said of the speech.
“We have to focus on working together, this will be good for the state,” he told reporters.
Azmin, the PKR deputy president became Selangor’s 15th mentri besar on Tuesday, taking over from takes over from Khalid who had held the post for more than six years from 2008.
Azmin’s appointment put an end to a protracted crisis which has pitted Pakatan Rakyat (PR) allies PKR, DAP and PAS in a bitter dispute.