(Stock image for illustration purposes) The victim had multiple slash wounds on both his arms and back of the head.

TUARAN: An Australian man is in critical condition after he was attacked by a parang-wielding man at Kampung Kiwoi, Tamparuli, near here, yesterday.

Police received a call about the incident at 2.50pm.

Tuaran police chief Deputy Superintendent Dzulbaharin Ismail said the victim, who is married to a local woman and staying at the village, was believed to have had an argument with his attacker, in his 30s, before the assault.

"There was a misunderstanding between them and it escalated," he said without elaborating.

He said the victim had multiple slash wounds on both his arms and back of the head.

"We received information that a foreigner was found on the ground, bleeding heavily. He was believed to be running away from the attacker and trying to seek help.

"The area was also secluded... and we later found traces of blood stretching about 40 metres."

Dzulbaharin said the victim is currently receiving treatment at Tuaran Hospital, adding that they are still looking for the attacker.