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Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Dato' CQ Teo Debate Challenge 2013 at KDU University College

The only debate I participated in during my secondary school time was the inter-class debate competition. I was not the debater but an audience. Forward to year 2013, I was privileged to be invited by KDU University College to cover the final of their annual Dato' CQ Teo Debate Challenge. The key objectives of this annual event are to help promote the spread of English among high school students and provide a platform to enable students to enhance their communication skills. This year the organizers decided to limit the Challenge to 60 teams with each participating school only allowed one team. Last year there were 63 teams from all over Malaysia participated in the Challenge.

The finalists that made it to the final were Team Tunku Kursiah College and Team SMK Assunta.  Team TKC formed the Government and Team SMK Assunta formed the Opposition.

Team TKC

Team SMK Assunta

I won't go into details of what each speaker had said. The Government points out that it has always been a closed door affair amongst the Cardinals and the result of the voting is based on the white smoke or black smoke. The Pope needs to be closer to the people and thus should be chosen by the people instead of just the Cardinals. They proposed that 5 nominees to be the Pope will be chosen amongst the Cardinals and their profiles will be published and make known to all the Christians in the world for them to vote which among the 5 will be the Pope.

The Opposition pointed of view is that the Cardinals knows better than the normal people when it comes to choose the right Pope because they the Cardinals have always been working together and knows each other well. Also, they pointed out if the Pope was to be voted by the people then he'll have to sanctioned policy that will pleased the people in order to be favoured by the people for example approving LGBT relationships.

If I were the Opposition, I will points out. What mechanism the Government planned too use for hundred of millions or even billion of Christians around the globe to vote? How to qualify whom is or whom is not a Christian? Is there an age limit? If a well planned mechanism can't be proposed, don't even think about letting the motion passed. This is just my own opinion.

It's interesting to see debates of this scale. Now I only I know during the speaker's session the opposing party can stand up and challenge point or points that the speaker just spoke. The speaker has the right to accept the challenge or to reject it. Hence, I heard a lot of "Please sit", and "No. Thank you" when the speaker rejects any challenge. Sometime the challenge will be accepted.

Here's a video snippet of what I meant.

I will really love to see motion that is closer to home, something like "This House Believes That The People and not the Federal/State Government Should Elect the Local Goverment". Nevertheless, this kind of debating competition is very good to nurtured our young to be critical thinking and has no fear voicing out their own opinion. It's also a good stepping stone to train them to debate in an open and civilized manners, unlike the comedy we see now in the Parliament or Dewan Undangan where the focus is not on the motion but on politicizing and personal attacks.

Finally, the final was won by Team Tunku Kursiah College and they went home with the new and improved Challenge trophy and RM 3,000 cash. Team SMK Asunta went home with RM 2,000 cash. The best final speaker is from Team TKC. Congratulations to both teams. See you all next year!


Anonymous said...

This was an unfortunate choice of motion. The process of selecting a pope is not due to some administrative convenience, it is based on the concepts of apostolic succession and how within the circle of the Church's leaders, one among their number would be elected by their peers. It is insensitive and ignorant to put this up for debate.

Anonymous said...

Indeed the choice of motion is inappropriate. Surely the whole of Malaysia and the Muslim world would be in violent protests if a topic concerning Islam is motioned. The organising committee is obviously not the least bit bothered about the sensitivites of other religions in this case.

Anonymous said...

hi! so you by any chance have a full video of the finals?

Simon Seow said...

Sorry, I don't have the full video. That is the only part I shot.