Monday, September 21, 2009

We All Need A Lil Debate :)

Debate: My passion, drug.

As mentioned, I participated in the Sathya Sai Baba Human Values Debate recently. We, Naomi, Sarah, Venisri and I, first started public speaking training under Ms. Foo on alternate days along the walkway near the undergrounds. It was tedious and we were really shy at the beginning to do all those seemingly ridiculous 7-second "Ahh's" and "Ehh's". But we realised that our lungs grew stronger as we could hold for longer periods and our voices were certainly much louder!

It was decided that the order of speakers would be I, as first speaker, Naomi as second and Sarah as third. And not to forget our darling reserve, Venisri, who breathe-coached us and kept us emotionally stable.

The Preliminaries: Community Service Should be Mandatory for College and University Students
Olympia vs. ACS

We, in team opposition are not convinced that community service should be mandatory for college and university students because such an approach would contradict, undermine and even negate the basic principles and objectives of community service and any benefits achieved would be merely superficial and cosmetic.
1. The principle of free will
2. The principle of 'no expectations of remunerations' for service rendered

The Olympians seemed calm and composed but they only spoke for a total of 12 minutes for the whole team! They did not prepare at all. While the adjudicators were out, this Datin spoke up and started criticising the ACS speakers. I couldn't help but stand up and defend my team. An informal debate ensued and I heard someone shout at me, "Respect your elders!" But we beat the Datin till she sat down quietly after that. :)

We won!

The Semis: The Sole Purpose of Education is to Earn a Livelihood
Politeknik Ungku Omar vs. ACS

We, in team opposition are not convinced that the sole purpose of education is to earn a livelihood because such a belief is simplistic, myopic and restrictive and it does not do justice to the holistic aim of education.
1. The purpose of education as agreed upon by the member states of UNESCO in Article 29(1) under The Convention of the Rights of the Child.
- development of a child's personality, talents and mental and physical abilities
- development of values and beliefs
- preparation of the child for responsible life in a free society
2. The purpose of education as derived from Socratic thought.
- self-knowledge
- individual moral good
- skill in thinking

The motion fell and into the semis we went! I like the chief adjudicator, a lawyer, Mr. Arthur Yong. :)

Finals: Liberty Should be Sacrificed to Promote Security
ACS vs. Institut Perguruan Ipoh

We, in team proposition believe that liberty should be sacrificed to promote security because in doing this, with wholesome restraint, we are actually ensuring our freedom and also the right to act within what the law permits.
1. Economic security which was affected when heavy deregulation and free market was encouraged in the US.
2. Child security from pornography etc.

This debate was almost unethical as personal insults were thrown at the proposition. How unprofessional. It was theatrical, almost like a joke, making a mockery out of debate. You never see this in the World Schools Debate. It just showed how screwed up the Malaysian debating scene is. The Toastmasters were the judges and they barely gave second thoughts to content. We lost although I thought we nailed it after the reply speech. Real injustice in a human values debate.

Oh. Big fumble of the day! Naomi talked about UTOPIA and the opposition said, "Why are we talking about ETHIOPIA? Are you saying that the people in ETHIOPIA are not cultured?" To which all the Institut supporters cheered. Holy macaroni. These people are gonna be teachers.

It was an immensely painful loss. And yes, I'd like to give myself some liberty to "jump over chairs and start killing people". But I'm extremely grateful for the friends I've made and bonded with - especially Venisri and Foofy. XD Haha. Sarah and Naomi were equally awesome. ;)

This is what I love most about debate. I miss hanging out in the Voyager Room and at the walkway outside the library, the excitement, the trainings, the crazy tricks we played on one another, the meals together. Great times. The best of Form 6 I guess.

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