Debating Competition

Report for ESUM Committee Meeting on the 26th of June: World Schools Debating Championship 2007 – Malaysian Team.

Students invited for debating championship

PETALING JAYA: Malaysian students who are experienced debaters are invited to represent the country at the World Schools Debating Championship 2007 in Seoul, South Korea, in July.
An annual event since the early 1990s, the championship will be held from July 2-12 and has proven to be a forum for students from all over the world to exchange ideas and air their views.
The speakers, aged between 14 and 18, can also act as youth ambassadors, foster friendships and understand each other’s cultures and back-grounds.
The Malaysian team will be selected through auditions, to be held on March 10 and 11 between 9am and 6pm at Level Three, Menara Star,15 Jalan 16/11, 46350 Petaling Jaya, Selangor.
The speakers will be asked to debate two topics: “This house disapproves of cloning ” and “This house would cancel Third World Debt ”.
Those interested in participating must be 18 years and under as of July 2,2007.
Students should register their full names, IC number, name of school, e-mail address, hand-phone number as well as a list of their debating experience in 100 words or fewer with The Star at e-mail : or via fax at 03-7957 7641 by 5pm on Wednesday.
Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted for the auditions.
This event is jointly organised by the English Speaking Union of Malaysia and The Star .

Five to represent country Student ambassadors selected after three rounds of debates

SEVENTEEN students aged between 14 and 18 recently competed in three grueling debates for the chance to be part of a five-member team that will represent the country at the World Schools Debating Championship 2007 from July 2 to 12 in Seoul, South Korea.
It is hoped that this year, Malaysian school debaters will make their mark internationally in Seoul, where debating teams from all over the world will pit their wits against each other.
The morning started off with an intensive training session with international judge and debate trainer Jagjeet Singh who shared her expertise with the debaters, giving them invaluable hints and tips on the art of debating.

Debating skills give youngsters an advantage

She emphasised on the importance of a speaker ’s ability to be able to critically analyse the motion before them and develop their argument and strategy coherently before presenting their case and opening themselves to attack from the opposition.
“Debating, however, goes beyond merely standing up and airing your views. It involves extensive research and preparation. To be a debater, you have to be keen in reading, research habit, have an interest in the field, a good grasp of general knowledge and current affairs, be competent in the English Language and of course, you must have the ability to think on your feet fast!” said Jagjeet,, debate trainer and head of the panel of adjudicators at the recent debates.
Debaters auditioning at the recent debate aired their views on the motion that “this house will enforce a two-year national service ” before subjecting themselves to a second debate which was on the motion “this house believes that free trade is the way to go ”. The second debate was impromptu in that all speakers were only given only an hour to prepare with only the aid of a dictionary, an almanac and a single volume encyclopedia without the aid of modern gadgets and gizmos like mobile phones,3G technology and laptops.
After two rounds of intense debates the judges faced the onerous task of selecting 12 potential candidates for further training and debate practice, which will commence next month.
It is from these 12 that the five-member Malaysian squad will be selected.

Those short-listed were Lee Zhi Wei, Wong Yoon Loong, Farquar Haqqani, Hitakshi Ashvani Kumar, Ang Jian Wei, Ngai Jin Tik, Shamala Devi Rajalingam, Bukhari Yusof, Sanjiv Nair Saidharan, Lee Jia Hui, John Lee and Mishyan Kumar Supramaniam.

“This debating experience will be an invaluable one for our debaters, being part of this prestigious international competition in Seoul. The skill of debating is certainly an advantage as this will give debaters an extra edge when applying to Ivy League and other prestigious universities,” said Tunku Dara Tunku Tan Sri Naquiah, the English Speaking Union of Malaysia chairman who was also in attendance at the debates.
The Star ’s support of this project echoes the government ’s aims in creating a future generation that is adept at soft skills and not only a generation that is academically inclined.
“A person with the ability to express themselves coherently and eloquently will stand head and shoulders above the rest in the corporate world and this is part of the reason that debating, public speaking is of vital importance to students today. This will give them an edge when they too join the rat race” said Star Publications Bhd Marketing Services senior manager Iris Tan.
The Malaysian leg of the World Schools Debating Championships is jointly organised and sponsored by the English Speaking Union of Malaysia and The Star.
The World Schools Debating Championship, which has been held annually since the early 1990s,has proven to be a forum for students from all over the world to exchange ideas and air their views.
It also provides a golden opportunity for youngsters from around the world to share their outlook on the world and as youth ambassadors, to foster friendships and understand each other’s cultures and backgrounds.

Facts & Figures:

1.Auditions were held on the 10th and 11th of March. After two articles calling for participation and direct contact with schools and SEA Forensics participants, a total of 48 students turned up for auditions. A total of 16 judges judged debates on two motions.
2.At the end of the second day of auditions (11th of March) this was whittled down to 17 debaters.
3.Third round of “auditions” was held on the 17th of March – this gave us 11 debaters who were shortlisted for the team.
4.Through March & April, these 11 met and trained with trainer Mrs Jagjeet Singh and final selection was held on the 29th of April where the team of 5 was finally chosen.
5.Malaysian Team – Andrew Wong and John Lee (Help University), Mishyan Kumar (SMK Bkt Rahman Putra), Lee Zhi Wei (SMK Tinggi Batu Pahat) & Ang Jian Wei (Sunway University).
6.They have been training every weekend since then & two-three days a week at The Star. Training session last from 9am – 5pm daily.
7.In addition to their in-house training, they have also debated in ‘public’ in Berjaya Times Square on the 19th of May and at FRIM on the 17th of June.
8.They leave for Seoul, Korea on the 2nd of July & competition starts on the 4th of July – only trainer Mrs Jagjeet Singh will be accompanying the team.
9.In all there were three days of auditions and 31 days of training for the project
10.Total project costs: RM35, 000.00 (ESU Malaysia) & RM43, 000 (The Star)