IMU Debate Open 2014 ends on high note
It was a peculiar Friday night. Anyone would expect IMU to be an empty void on a Friday night, without students and lecturers as they bade goodbye to the weekdays. However, on that particular Friday evening, passionate voices, loud and clear, were filling this void, complete with the occasional “Hear! Hear!” or “Shame!”.
Such sights would also be witnessed over the next two days.
Well, it wouldn’t take a detective to figure out what was happening: a big blue banner with “IMU Debate Open 2014” emblazoned on it was draped in the atrium of IMU, amidst the Christmas decorations.
Held annually by IMU Debating Society, IMU Debate Open 2014, held from 21 November to 23 November, attracted local and international participants from various universities and high schools. Some even hailed from places as far as Guangdong province, China. With 52 teams participating, it was by no means a small-scale event.
The organising committee, made up of a diverse team of students from various faculties and spearheaded by Leonard Goh, the incumbent President of IMU Debating Society, came together and started planning this three-day-event since September 2014. Goh shared, “I was impressed with the whole team’s responsiveness and efficiency throughout the entire process, from the planning stage to the execution phase.”
However, it was not all smooth sailing. Goh pointed out, “One of the greatest challenges we faced was the room bookings for our debating venues. Given that IMU is a small campus, it was rather difficult to find sufficient rooms to host all 52 teams.” However with the invaluable assistance from Mr Mok and Ms May Kuan from SSD, these issues were soon resolved. Lalina Priya Murugan, the co-convener of the event said, “Slight hiccups here and there are common. Nevertheless, we managed to accommodate the increased number of teams, provided transportation and more food servings.
Perhaps one of the most memorable moments for participants was when they had to use their hands to eat after cutleries ran out. Malaysians, and in particular our Malay peers, wasted no time to demonstrate how they neatly gather food using only their fingertips and gently push it into their mouths using their thumbs. As such, aside from debating, international participants also had an authentic taste of cultural diversity in Malaysia by learning the traditional Malay way of eating.
IMU Debate Open 2014 runs on the British Parliamentary format, where four teams comprising opening factions and closing factions for government and opposition sides respectively are pitched against each other. After the release of the motion, debaters are given 15 minutes to prepare and debate in their assigned roles. Note that electronics are not allowed during the prep period, hence the best debaters are those who are well-versed in current issues.
With issues ranging from inheritance tax, patenting human genes, to jus soli in the United States, the various motions released throughout the tournament put the versatility of debaters to test. Going from one room to another, it can be observed that debaters were fervently engaging in their debates, trying their best to outwit and out speak each other.
For many, it was not only a good learning experience, but also an excellent platform for opinionated students to engage in discussions surrounding world issues. The fiery finals debate put up by the finalists certainly did not disappoint the 60-odd crowd on the last day of the event.
And with that, IMU Debate Open 2014 is done and dusted. Goh proudly said,
“IMUDO 2014 was well received by its 150-odd participants, and this is all to the credit of each and every person of the organising committee.”
Despite challenges at the beginning, this event certainly ended on a high note. So till the next year!
Written by Lee Yen Yi from IMU Debate Society