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Syed Saddiq is again Asia's best debater


Syed Saddiq

Syed Saddiq

PETALING JAYA: Final year International Islamic University Malaysia (IIUM) student Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman has made Malaysia proud yet again by winning his third Asia's Best Speaker Award.

Syed Saddiq, 23, was tied in first placing with his IIUM teammate, Bangladeshi third year Economics student Mubarrat Wassey, 24, in the 2015 Asian British Parliamentary (ABP) Debating Championship.

The tournament  ran from Oct 16 to 22 and was hosted by Asia Pacific University (APU). The seven-day competition drew 82 teams from over 10 countries in Asia.

Previously, Saddiq won Asia's Overall Best Speaker awards at the 2015 United Asian Debating Championship (UADC) in Bali, Indonesia and the 2012 ABP in Jakarta, Indonesia.

The top 10 speakers and teams

Being a passionate orator, Syed Saddiq feels that there's more to debating than just speaking out.

"Debating is not about arguing in a debate room. It's actually about coming up with solutions to make the world a better place," Syed Saddiq told The Star Online.

Depite making it to the finals and also being ranked the best team in Asia, Syed Saddiq and Mubarrat lost out the championship to Singapore's Nanyang Technological Univeristy (NTU).

In the finals, the IIUM team were placed in Opening Opposition and had to disprove the motion "This House regrets the increasing medical classifications of behavioral patterns as psychological illnesses" which was released 15 minutes before the debate.

All teams underwent six preliminary rounds and those who made the cut faced subsequent knock-out rounds.

The 2015 ABP will be Syed Saddiq's last tournament as a debater. However, he is not fully departing from the scene just yet as he plans to continue serving the debating community as an adjudicator.

"I feel nostalgic (about no longer being a debater) but I am also excited to use the experience and knowledge which I've garnered to pursue public advocacy in politics," he said.

Recently, Syed Saddiq was invited by the Cambridge Union to become the chief adjudicator for the Cambridge Intervarsity debating competition, held from Nov 20-21 in the United Kingdom.

He also currently sits on the National Consultative Council on Political Financing, is a researcher at Johor think-tank Bait al-Amanah and had a brief stint as a Perdana fellow under Minister in the Prime Minister's Department in charge of Law Nancy Shukri.

   

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