KOTA KINABALU, Nov 12 — Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia Tenom chief Datuk Rubin Balang has defended himself against allegations that he was the mastermind behind his son’s campaigning against Umno candidate in Tenom.

The Kemabong assemblyman said that he had nothing to do with Riduan’s decision to contest as an independent or subsequently joining Parti Kesejateraan Democratic Masyarakat.

“He had decided to join PKDM on his own after its president Datuk Peter Anthony offered it to him,” said Rubin.

Rubin said that Peter called Riduan on November 11 and offered him membership to the party before polling day in order to avoid contravening the anti-party hopping law.

“I was told that after Riduan and his supporters agreed to the offer was when Peter called me and asked me to come over to the KDM office,” he said in a statement here today.

“They asked me if I had any objections to Riduan joining their party. I replied that I have no power and right to protest and do anything as Riduan is no longer a Bersatu member,” he said, adding that Riduan had resigned prior to nomination day.

“I left the office shortly after that,” he said.

Rubin denied having violated the electoral pact between Gabungan Rakyat Sabah and BN and was distressed to hear that Sabah BN chairman had called for action against him without evidence of wrongdoing.

Rubin reminded Bung that he himself had contested as an Independent in the 2020 state polls and won the seat before he and two other independents Datuk Ruddy Awah and Datuk Masiung Banah were invited to join the GRS-BN coalitions which jointly formed the government.

“So after two years of forming a government, they want to kick me out?

“Riduan was acting on his own and has every right to determine his own political journey.

“I hope that Bung acts more maturely and does not get influenced by unverified reports from Jamawi who is trying to smear my name,” he said.

Riduan is the former Bersatu youth chief in Tenom before he resigned to contest against GRS BN in Tenom. Also in the race is incumbent Noorita Sual from DAP, Warisan’s Ukim Buandi, and independent Peggy Chaw.

PKDM has declared itself as GRS-friendly but has fielded candidates in seven seats – four against BN and three against GRS.