MALAYSIA - Embattled Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim is holding his head high despite the glaring media attention and sneers behind his back calling him "the outgoing mentri besar".
"That is the price I have to pay for integrity," he said of the unusual media attention while delivering his keynote address at PKNS' third annual international integrity conference yesterday.
"Let me apologise for the unnecessary added attention.
"To me, this is okay because I decided to be a politician so I have to bear with it but you did not come here to be disturbed in such a manner," he said of the strong media presence at the function.
Reporters had followed Khalid to the venue as they had earlier failed to get any response from him when he arrived at his office after skipping his official duty on Monday.
He arrived at the state secretariat building at about 9.45am.
Scores of reporters were already there waiting for Khalid in the lobby but failed to get any reply from him to their questions.
Khalid, who appeared calm and composed, kept quiet, walked past the media representatives and went straight to his 21st floor office.
He left the building via another entrance at about 11am for the PKNS programme at the Shah Alam Convention Centre.
There, Khalid again refused to entertain the media and left the function escorted by security personnel.
Khalid had said that he would not be making any statements on the mentri besar crisis on the advice of the Selangor Sultan.
He had also said he would meet the Sultan after he returned to the country on Aug 27 to explain the latest developments in the crisis.
PAS, which initially supported Khalid as the mentri besar, retracted its backing and instead went along with its Pakatan Rakyat allies in proposing PKR president Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail as the next mentri besar.
The party also nominated Bukit Antarabangsa assemblyman and PKR deputy president Azmin Ali as the second candidate.