KUALA LUMPUR: It was Malaysia versus Malaysia at the 2019 Australasian Intervarsity Debating Championship ESL (English as Second Language) finals on Sunday (July 7).
Emerging as the ESL category winners was the team from the International Islamic University Malaysia (IIUM), who faced off against opponents University Malaya at the finals in Bali, Indonesia.
The Australasian Intervarsity Debating Championship is the second largest debating tournament in the world. A total of 70 teams from Australia, New Zealand and Asia participated in this year’s championship.
IIUM, represented by Nur Hana Izzati Abdullah Zawawi (third year economics) Ameer Fahmi Ishak (third year English literature) and Umy Marshita binti Mohamed Azhar (first year law) opposed the motion “The International Criminal Court (ICC) should abolish the principle of complementarity,” against Universiti Malaya’s Sharwin Mohammad Mohan (second year economics), Amanda Chan (final year finance) and Danesh Aggarwal (second year law) who put up a formidable challenge that concluded with a 6-3 split decision in the last stage of the eight-day tournament.
The IIUM team argued that ICC should complement the national courts in convicting crimes of genocide or war crimes instead of trying to exercise universal jurisdiction over all countries.
Both IIUM and Universiti Malaya underwent eight preliminary rounds and one knockout before battling one another in a test of wit and wisdom for the ESL trophy.
Umy Marshita, the youngest member of IIUM’s team, was elated with the win.
“IIUM has done well historically in international debate tournaments and as a very junior member of the team, I feel the pressure to continue the performance. I hope to continue learning and achieve greater heights,” she said.
Universiti Malaya’s Sharwin said: ”We did not expect to get this far given the fact that our performance was dipping right before the start of the Australasian Intervarsity."But when the tournament started, we clicked and began performing really well beyond our expectations. Danesh and I have two years left in our debate career and we plan to do well in upcoming international tournaments and to make the country proud.”