SABAH POLLS | PBS deputy president Radin Malleh did not mince his words when asked about Umno fielding a candidate against him in the Melalap seat - which he had lost by just 293 votes in the last general election.
However, he also said voters in the constituency were wise enough to evaluate a candidate's background and integrity - casting aspersions on Umno challenger Jamawi Jaafar's history of party-hopping.
Speaking to Malaysiakini in an interview, Radin said they were disappointed by Umno's decision to crowd the field.
"We are disappointed because, under PN's umbrella, Umno should not have fielded a candidate in Melalap as the seat had already been given to PBS," he noted.
Umno had decided to contest in Melalap at the 11th hour, just as PBS did in seven other seats.
This resulted in the PBS, BN, and Perikatan Nasional clashing in 17 seats in total.
Asked whether he felt threatened by Umno's presence, Radin (below) responded with a laugh before acknowledging that it could split the votes and give Warisan incumbent Peter Anthony an advantage.
"However, I think if the people of Melalap are wise to evaluate the integrity and background and the party they're representing. We have the edge," he said.
He said PBS had a known track record for being multiracial and fighting for Sabah's rights as per the Malaysia Agreement 1963.
He also said that Jamawi had a tainted reputation.
"Jamawi's name is also tainted because he jumped here and there. Umno to Warisan and then back to Umno.
"The people must see who these people are, jumping frogs and all," he added.
He also chided Jamawi for abandoning the Mebakong seat he won in the last election, saying voters were angry with him.
As for Warisan, he said the party only knew how to make promises but not keep them.
On being outmatched in terms of resources, Radin said he hoped the people would understand and not encourage money politics.
Radin, 70, has held Melalap since 1999 before being ousted by Peter in the 2018 general election.
He attributed his defeat that year to the political tsunami and political issues such as the Goods and Services Tax.
The battle for Melalap is a six-corner fight. Polling day is next Saturday.
Follow Malaysiakini's coverage of the Sabah state election here.