Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS) deputy president Datuk Dr Maximus Ongkili, who is Barisan Nasional (BN) candidate, is facing three opponents in defending the Kota Marudu parliamentary seat. He is challenged by Anthony Mandiau from Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR), Bersekutu president Berman Angkap and independent Ruslan Moh Zain. The Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department opted not to defend the Tandek state seat this time around in which the PBS picked a woman, Lasiah @ Anita Baranting to contest the seat. The 53-year-old former People Development Leader for Tandek is expecting tough challenge from Isang Rawai from PASOK, Masingkan @ Shingkam from Bersekutu, Jurin Gunsalam from the PKR and independent candidate Andy Villson. It is a three-cornered fight in Matunggong between Sarapin Magana, who replaced incumbent assemblywoman Jornah Mozihim, Santain Menurun from Bersekutu and Muada Ojihi from PKR. Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS) president Datuk Seri Panglima Joseph Pairin Kitingan had initially re-nominated Jornah to defend the Matunggong seat, but she was dropped two days ago allegedly following an intervention by Maximus. Over in Kota Belud, rookie Datuk Abdul Rahman Dahian from BN UMNO is pitted in a straight fight against Saidil @ Said Semoi from the PKR. Abdul Rahman replaced incumbent Datuk Salleh Said Keruak who was dropped by the BN leadership. UMNO Kota Belud divison head Datuk Hj Musbah Jamil, who replaced another UMNO heavyweight Tan Sri Pandikar Amin Mulia, is facing Laiman Ikin @ Awang Laiman Kakimin from PKR and independent candidate Ibrahim Linggam for the Tampasuk state seat. For the Kadamaian state seat, BN incumbent Datuk Timbon @ Herbert Lagadan from PBS is involved in a three-cornered fight with a woman, Lukia Binti Indan from the PKR and lawyer Peter Marajin Peter Marazing who is standing as an independent candidate. For another BN candidate Datuk Japlin Akim @ Abd Hamid, it is a one-to-fight with Mohd Shukor Abdul Muin for the Tempasuk state seat. Nevertheless, the BN candidates for Kota Belud, Tempasuk, Kadamaian and Usukun have been rest assured of a formidable support from Salleh and Pandikar who had pledged their loyalty to the BN.