Malaysian champions in Cambridge intervarsity debating competition

From left: Sara Rahim, Jasmine Ho, Ameera Natasha and Mifzal after their wins.

From left: Sara Rahim, Jasmine Ho, Ameera Natasha and Mifzal after their wins.

PETALING JAYA: Malaysian teams have emerged champions in one of the world’s most competitive debating tournaments, the Cambridge Intervarsity debating competition (Cambridge IV).

It was a national first as University Teknologi MARA (UiTM) and the International Islamic University Malaysia (IIUM) won both the main and English as Second Language (ESL) category trophies.

The team from UiTM bagged the main prize for the overall competition while IIUM won in the ESL category.

UiTM became the first Malaysian university in history to win in the main category when they came out victorious in the four-way grand finals against the team from Trinity College of Dublin Historical Society and two teams from the University of Toronto, Hart House A & B.

Mohd Mifzal Mohd Murshid Kieron, and Jasmine Ho, both 22, successfully defended the motion ‘This House believes that the international community should pay countries near to conflict zones to process, settle and restrict the further movement of refugees’ in their position as opening government.

In the ESL category grand finals, IIUM speakers Ameera Natasha Moore, 22, and Sara Rahim, 20, defeated Tel Aviv from Israel and Leiden A and Leiden B, both from the Netherlands.

They were debating the motion ‘This house believes that Saudi Arabia should limit participation in the Hajj to the citizens of countries that are committed to taking direct action against the Islamic State (IS)’ as opening opposition.

For all categories, motions are only revealed 15 minutes before debates take place and no electronic assistance is allowed apart from electronic dictionaries. No outside help is allowed during the 15-minute preparation time.

Three time Asia’s Best Speaker award winner Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman was also the first Asian Co-Chief Adjudicator in the tournament, which ran from Nov 20-21st in Cambridge University, United Kingdom.

Among the institutions that made up the 128 teams in the tournament were Harvard University, Oxford University, The London School of Economics, University of Toronto, Tel Aviv University, Cornell University and the Trinity College Dublin.