Tags Posts tagged with "debate"


0 716

Reported by Toh Boon Kheng

This is not a scene from a television drama. Nor is it a scene in the Malaysian Bar Council. This is simply your average IMU Cup Debate Finals. The motion was ‘This House Will Abolish Prisons’. With teams Pegasus BR in opening government, Griffin NA in opening opposition, Taurus AS in closing government, and Draco SK in closing opposition, one can expect no less than an explosive finale on that Thursday night, on the 29th of October. Despite the heavy competition, there can only be one team in each spot. In the champion’s seat, Goh Ni Kol (ME214) and Ai Ven (BP112) brought pride to Griffin.

Meanwhile, Arjun (ME114) and Sree (ME115) from Taurus came in second, with Raaj (ME114) and Bryan (ME214) from Pegasus trailing closely in third. There was some humour to go around; “Butt sex is a scare tactic. It helps scare people from committing crime. We don’t condone it, but it does help deter (in response to a question about gang rapes in prison).” There was also some anger in the air; “Please use some logic before you say a Point of Information (POI). Don’t POI like a fool.” All in the name of sportsmanship. It was truly a ‘colourful’ night.


“You have had 400 years, why hasn’t it worked?! If your system is useless, why do we still have to put up with it?”

“We feel really, really happy. Because the competition was really tight this year, so we thought we could not defend our gold from last year,” said Ni Kol, “And super surprised when they announced we are winners,” continued Ai Ven. “Everyone was really intense and emotional. We were like, let’s just not get last,” described Ni Kol. “I think (we won) because Ni Kol is a very good speaker. She delivers the matter really well,” as Ai Ven praised of Ni Kol, who was announced as the Best Debater.

As advice to new, aspiring debaters in IMU, they both were pretty certain, “Join Debate Club!” Ni Kol followed up, “We have a proper coach, who really teaches you everything he can, and the club pays everything, so you can go for free. And we always send debaters for competition. It’s actually the competition that shaped both of us. Also, read up on a lot of stuff. Go BBC, read up things, stay updated.” “Debating is a lot like, when people ask you two plus two, you have to show the working. And that’s debating, it’s not the answer, four. So, like, it’s analysing it,” concluded Ni Kol.


0 1003

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.

Debaters from Singapore
Debaters from Singapore
Debaters from China
Debaters from China







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


0 1793

What is debate?

Debate, in essence, is simply the defence of an opinion or stand. It incorporates critical thinking with public speaking, as well as the ability to think on one’s feet (literally and figuratively). The reason why debating is an oft sought-after skill is that it trains people to think about issues from all possible angles and aspects. At IMU Debating Society, we recognise that debating is an excellent way to allow us to better ourselves as thinkers and speakers, and our society has been around for almost as long as the university, making us one of the oldest clubs in IMU.


We organise three tournaments yearly – Health Science Debate Open, IMU Debate Open, as well as the debate segment of IMU Cup.  We also attend other intervarsity tournaments both locally and internationally, allowing our members to gain valuable exposure to the culture of debating inside and outside of Malaysia.

Local Inter-Varsity tournaments
Avicenna Medical Debate Competition
UKM Med Debate
Taylor’s IV
National Novice
KDU Pro-Ams

International tournaments
SMU Hammers
United Asians Debating Championship
Australasian Debating Championship
Asians British Parliamentary
World Universities Debating Championship

Currently, we hold weekly trainings on Sundays, 2 pm to 5 pm, conducted by our external trainer Tariq Maketab, a practicing litigator with Lee Hishamuddin Allen & Gledhill. He has had an illustrious debating career, such as winning the 2006 Royals tournament and reaching the semifinals for the 2007 and 2010 Asian British Parliamentary tournaments. Maketab is an experienced adjudicator and coach as well, and you can be sure that you will learn a lot from him during our sessions!

The typical session comprises a round or two of debate, followed by adjudicator feedback in which Maketab teaches us how to refine our arguments and think about the debate motion from different perspectives. Once in a while, he has also provided crash courses in key topics such as International Relations.

On top of the training sessions with Maketab, there are currently plans to have an additional session on weekdays, to be conducted by senior debaters. Regardless of prior experience with debate, we encourage all interested parties to come for our trainings. All we need from you is enthusiasm and dedication to perfecting the art of debate.

Our Achievements

UKM Med Debate 2014 Champions
Avicenna Debate 2014 Finalists
UKM Med Debate 2013 Champions
Avicenna Debate 2013 Champions
IMUDO 2013 Semi-finalists
HSDO 2013 Semi-finalists
ABP 2013 Pre-quarter finalists
KDU ProAms 2013 Quarter finalists
SMU Hammers 2013 Quarter finalists

About Us

Our 2014/15 committee are:

President: Leonard Goh Zhong Ning
Vice President: Lalina Priya Murugan
Treasurer: Nur Izzati Binti Rozali
Secretary: Safaa Bouheraoua
Training Coordinator: Wan Nuraisyah Azzahrah Binti Wan Zuki


Join our Facebook group here!

Photo credits: Yiing-j Yap and Choo Wan Yee from IMU Photography Club

0 1377

Leonard Goh Zhong Ning (ME113) is event captain for the annual debate competition, let's find out what's on his mind


Leonard Goh Zhong Ning (ME113), President of the IMU Debate Society

Leonard Goh wears many hats – he is also actively involved in cheerleading and chess. As a prelude to the upcoming debate competition for IMU cup, we interviewed Leonard to get his thoughts on the event.


So Leonard, what responsibilities do you hold for the IMU Cup debate competition? Would you say that this is your first time organising such an event?

I am the event captain for Debate, as well as the debate captain for Phoenix. I have had prior experience organising debate tournaments with the previous Debating Society 2013/14 committee, such as IMU Debate Open 2013 and Health Science Debate Open 2014, so it isn’t my first time. It is, however, the first time I’ve been placed in charge of the whole tournament. Fortunately, IMU Cup is a rather small-scale event compared to the two aforementioned competitions, so I don’t foresee any complications, especially since I have my wonderful Debating Society committee with me!

How has your preparation been so far?

So far, all the debate captains and I have been recruiting members from our respective houses to attend training sessions, but we didn’t manage to see much response till very recently, with the new intake of medical students. Anyone who is interested in trying out debate is strongly encouraged to contact your respective debate captains! No prior experience is required, only an enthusiasm for learning and critical thinking.

Hydra: Lalina Murugan
Draco: Wan Aisyah Azzahrah
Pegasus: Jagraj Dhillon
Griffin: Ai Ven Tee
Taurus: Arjun Gopal

Anyone who is interested in trying out debate is strongly encouraged to contact your respective debate captains! No prior experience is required, only an enthusiasm for learning and critical thinking.

How has recruitment for the competition been?

Initially it was quite difficult to recruit members, especially since almost all batches across the courses were occupied with exams, electives, projects, semester breaks and whatnot. Some people were probably also intimidated by the idea of speaking for 7 minutes straight without much preparation. (It’s not as hard as it looks, really!) However, with the new ME2/14 intake, we have been seeing an increase in interest in debate, and that has been very heartening.

What is the most challenging part of this event for you?

Most of the Semester One students entering this competition are novices in debating, so the current challenge is to bring them up to speed regarding the format of the British Parliamentary style of debating, as well as speaker roles and how to properly structure their arguments, so that they will be able to fully benefit from their participation in IMU Cup. That said, Debating Society had our first training session with them last Sunday, and their progress looks promising.

What is the most interesting part of this event for you?

I would say the competition itself. Last year, I had to debate on a topic that I was largely unfamiliar with, all within 15 minutes. Needless to say it turned out to be the most fun and the most memorable experience I had during last year’s IMU Cup.

What responsibilities are entailed with your roles in this event?

As event captain of Debate, my role is to ensure that the whole tournament is executed smoothly by the committee. This ranges from mundane stuff like booking rooms and arranging matchups according to the instructions given by the IMU Cup committee, to exciting tasks like setting the debate motions. As debate captain for Phoenix, my role is to coordinate training sessions and to guide the new debaters in my houseas they set off on their debating journey.

What have you put in place to make the team work out?

My committee has been working together for quite some time now, so I didn’t have to do anything per se to make us click. Our team dynamics is great, and I am thankful for that!

How do you manage time between your studies and extracurricular activities?

To be honest, I haven’t been managing my time as well as I would have liked, but I guess time management is largely dependent on our individual priorities, and these priorities can change from time to time. Therefore, it is important to review them regularly to ensure that time allocation for each activity accurately reflects its respective priority level.

What are your expectations by the end of this event?

I hope that this Debate segment in IMU Cup would be a great learning experience for all our new debaters irrespective of which house they belong to, as well as a platform to exhibit Debating Society. I also hope for people to realise that debating is not all about using profound language and arguments to confound opponents, but rather,creating meaningful public discourse about important issues. All that is required of you is to have an opinion, a willingness to defend it logically, and an open mind; everything else is secondary.

I hope that this Debate segment in IMU Cup would be a great learning experience for all our new debaters irrespective of which house they belong to, as well as a platform to exhibit Debating Society.

Is there anything you would like to tell other IMU students?

I would like to encourage everyone to join IMU Cup, as it is really a wonderful opportunity for us to explore new sports and events. Besides that, it is one of the few times when we actually get to meet people from other courses and forge close friendships with them over training sessions.

Last but not least, IMU Debating Society holds weekly training sessions on Saturdays, from 2 pm to 5 pm. Everyone is welcome to join us! For more information, feel free to join our Facebook group.

Best of luck to all IMU Cup participants in their respective events, and may sportsmanship prevail!