KOTA KINABALU, Nov 11 — Independent candidate for Tenom Riduan Rubin has joined Parti Kesejahteraan Demokratik Masyarakat (PKDM) whose president, Datuk Peter Anthony’s nomination for the seat was rejected.

Riduan, who was Tenom Armada chief, broke ranks by contesting in the seat against Barisan Nasional’s Umno candidate Datuk Jamawi Jaafar.

An aide to Peter confirmed that Riduan has entered PKDM officially.

“Yes, he joined KDM.

“But he will still campaign without using the (PKDM) logo,” said the aide.

Photos of Peter and Riduan holding up membership forms were circulating on social media.

Riduan’s father, Kemabong assembly Datuk Rubin Balang, was also seen in one photo, presumably at the same signing event.

Rubin is currently a member of Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia, a component of the Gabungan Rakyat Sabah coalition.

During state 2020 election, he had contested as an independent and later joined GRS under Bersatu. He was also among those eyeing the Tenom seat, but under the GRS-BN electoral pact, the seat was given to Umno to contest.

The Tenom seat is a five-cornered fight between incumbent Noorita Sual from DAP, Umno’s Jamawi, Warisan’s Ukim Buandi, Riduan, and another independent, 23-year-old Peggy Chaw.

Asked whether Riduan’s entry into PKDM would contravene the constitutional amendment against political defections, the PKDM source said it was still legitimate as there were no election results yet.

Under the amendment, Riduan would have to officially remain as an independent if he were to win the seat.

Peter’s rejection to contest by the Election Commission had caused a riot in Tenom town last Saturday, with police having to fire tear gas to disperse the crowds.

Insisting that he had a right to contest despite a recent court conviction, he recently said that he would pursue the case in court and was confident of a by-election.