Selangor menteri besar Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim leaves after chairing an exco meeting.ROSDAN WAHID

KUALA LUMPUR: The fight is not over yet for Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim, in a battle to stave off efforts to remove him from the menteri besar office.

Since the Selangor menteri besar’s defeat as the Kuala Selangor PKR branch chief at the hand of S. Manikavasagam, several top party leaders including PKR Youth chief Shamsul Iskandar Mohd Akin have called for his resignation as the state’s top office bearer.

The defeat is considered to have reflected the members’ confidence in Khalid’s leadership.

Several party leaders have also violated de facto leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s instruction to be mindful of their comments concerning the controversy.

However Khalid persevered in the face of his detractors whom party insiders said, were mostly from the camp of his chief rival PKR deputy president Azmin Ali.

Even now, there had yet to be a solid manoeuvre to perturb Khalid, said National Professors’ Council socio-culture cluster head Prof Datuk Dr Zainal Kling.

“Khalid remains popular in Selangor (despite the defeat at Kuala Selangor branch polls) as he still enjoys grassroots support in many constituencies.

“That is where he derives his confidence against the barrage of attacks from fellow party members.”

Khalid’s disposition in fending off top party leaders have also somehow became a plus point in gaining admiration from the people for Selangor.

Toppling Khalid, would not be a walk in the park said Zainal since the appointment was collectively made by the opposition coalition leaders.

“I think Khalid will remain as menteri besar for now. PKR alone cannot remove him, since Pas and DAP had a say in his appointment.”

Furore over Khalid’s position as menteri besar is also creating ripples in PKR, as show cause letters were issued to several party leaders.

Shamsul, Selangor PKR leadership council secretary Amirudin Shari and former political secretary to Khalid, Faekah Husin have been told to explain the statements made pertaining to the controversy.

Faekah, now Menteri Besar Inc chief executive, lambasted Shamsul and said should Khalid quit on grounds that he had lost his post as branch chief, the same should apply to Anwar and wife Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail.

The latest twist in the Khalid saga emerged on Thursday after Selangor PKR information chief Shuhaimi Shafiei claimed that Khalid’s resignation as menteri besar was decided at the party’s supreme council meeting on Jan 15 as part of a deal to engineer the Kajang by-election in March.