UM emerges tops in Asian inter-varsity debate tourney

PETALING JAYA: Universiti Malaya has been crowned United Asian Debating Championships (UADC) 2021 champions after defeating the University of Tokyo.

Their achievement also saw them defeat the National University of Singapore, De La Salle University and Lahore University of Management Sciences before reaching the finals, the university said in a statement.

“The team, Malaya 1, comprised Luc Choong Guong Sang (third Year, LLB), Patrick Cheang Zhi Chian (first Year, MBA) and Vinodhan Kuppusamy (first Year, LLM - Commercial Law), emerged victorious after beating the University of Tokyo on a 9-2 split decision in the Grand Finals.

“Individually, Patrick and Vinodhan were tied for the sixth Overall Best Speaker Award, with Vinodhan also bagging the Grand Finals Best Speaker Award,” it added.

The team won seven out of eight rounds in the preliminary rounds to finish second out of 102 teams representing 55 universities across 14 countries in Asia, UM said.

UM’s second team, Team Malaya 2 comprising Kuhan Karttikeyn Ravichandran, Danesh Ram and Catherine Alicia Nathan, UM said, won six out of eight rounds to finish 10th, making UM the only Malaysian Institution in the Top 10 ranks of Asia.

“The teams debated a diverse range of challenging and current topics, such as the banning of collateralised loan obligations, supporting the trilateral AUKUS security pact, and the incorporation of artificial intelligence into the criminal justice system.

“All topics were only released to participants 30 minutes before each debate.

“This was UM’s first win at the Asian Championships.

“The team was coached by Assoc Prof Dr Chandran Somasundram from the Institute of Biological Sciences with the full support of the Student’s Affairs Division,” it added.

The UADC, UM said, is a prestigious intervarsity Asian Parliamentary debate tournament held annually.

This year’s edition was held online due to the pandemic.

In a Facebook post on Monday (Oct 11), UM Law Review congratulated the team over their outstanding feat.

“From this impressive achievement, we hope that more students will be inspired to partake in intellectual discourse at the global stage,” it said.

The university also congratulated the teams on its Facebook page on Wednesday (Oct 13).

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