KUALA LUMPUR: An International Islamic University Malaysia (IIUM) debate team has done the nation proud after it was ranked tenth in the “Olympics” of debating.
The team, consisting of final year law-student Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman and third-year economics student Mubarrat Wassey, were ranked 10th out of 440 teams in the 35th World Universities Debating Championship (WUDC) hosted by University Teknologi Mara (UiTM).
"Debate is a life changing experience that everyone should embark on," said Syed Saddiq at the closing ceremony of the tournament on Saturday night.
"I'm immensely happy to fly the Malaysian flag high and look forward to training future champions from Malaysia," he added.
Syed Saddiq was also awarded the overall best English as Second Language (ESL) speaker.
In the 2013 WUDC held in Berlin, Germany, the university's team of Syed Saddiq and economics student Arinah Najwa Ahmad Said were ranked 15th.
For the 2016 WUDC in Greece, Arinah was chosen to be among the seven chief and deputy chief adjudicators alongside notable judges from Greece, Australia, the United States of America, Canada, the United Kingdom and Qatar.
UiTM law student Shafiq Bazari helmed this year's judges as co-Chief Adjudicator.
The WUDC is recognised as the "Olympics" of debating and is also the largest, and most diverse non-sporting varsity competition in the world.
The debate tournament, the most prestigious and prolific, a drew in 1200 participants from 415 higher education institutions spanning 92 countries.
The Malaysian Institute for Debate and Public Speaking (MIDP) co-organised the tournament which ran from Dec 27 to Jan 4 with support from the Education and Tourism ministries.