On hindsight, the DAP could have won more than 6 seat as it did the last Saturday.
There were 3 seats where the DAP lost by slim majority, namely Repok (Kung Chin Chin, Sarikei) where Kung polled 4,966 votes and lost by 576 votes; Dudong (Steven Lu Cheng Kuok, Sibu) where Steven Lu obtained 6,951 vote and was defeated by 408 votes and Pelawan (Dr Ting Chik Ming, Sibu) where Dr Ting received 7, 112 votes and lost by 263.
Of the 3, Pelawan and Repok were, before the election, considered winnable by the DAP, although Pelawan was categorized as a "seriously winnanble" seat and Repok was a "possibly winnable" seat respectively.
Dudong was never considered a winnable seat by any standard for the BN had a strong incumbent candidate who had already announced that he would be standing for the last time. I was told that it had been a tradition in Sibu, or Sarawak for that matter, that once an incumbent candidate made such a declaration, he would be returned without problem.
Such was the prevalent belief that dragged the feet of the DAP's campaign machinery in Sibu, though they should not be blamed for so believing. Even the last ceramah the DAP held in Sibu Jaya on the eve of polling day, which I also spoke, attracted not more than 100 people when on the same night, the ceramah in Bukit Assek, Sibu, could attract more than 6,000 people. There was no indication whatsoever during the campaign period alerting the DAP machinery that situation there might have changed.
Compared to the DAP machinery in Kuching, the DAP Sibu had much more to learn, humbly. If the co-ordination among the 4 among candidates had been properly tuned up, the machinery would had been more efficient and effective to cover all the constituencies in Sibu. The 4 candidates in Sibu were not seen as a team as their 3 comrades in Kuching. There was no master plan strategy for the campaign in Sibu. Otherwise, even the margin in the lost seat of Bawang Assam could also be further reduced.
The "seriously winnable" seat of Pelawan had not been so seriously dealt with by the campaign machinery accordingly. Pelawan had been wasted. In fact, one would expect that the DAP Sibu should have put up a more formidable fight in Sibu in view of the fact that 3 of the candidates were the Sarawak DAP heavyweight leaders namely, Richard Wong Ho Leng (DAP State Chairman), David Wong (Publicity Secretary) and Dr Ting Chik Ming (Political Education Director).
Although Repok in Sarikei was considered a "possibly winnable" seat, short of sufficient and consistent back-up until the polling day had left much regret to the DAP. Chin Chin was an inexperienced candidate and much back-up support from Sibu was required. However, except for some DAP CEC leaders' support, the Sibu machinery had not been able to help much bearing in mind of its own unsolved obstacles in Sibu itself. Chin Chin just missed the boat although she fought impressively.
Be it as it may, let's hope that the same mistakes will not recur in the next elections.