A Hitchhiker’s Guide To Debate Planet – Free Ride With A Bug Bite

Posted on July 9, 2010


From Email (Yahoo)
July 08, 2010
Luqman Arif


“I need help. I need three people to adjudicate at the UniKL President’s Cup next week in Ipoh. You shall be paid.”

This was posted by Yunus on the Serdang Royals’ Facebook wall. Three things popped in my mind:

  1. I am jobless at home, trying hard to gain weight (hopelessly).
  2. I am completely broke.
  3. I’m addicted to debating.

With these three reasons in mind, I signed up without any hesitation. Just a day before we were supposed to leave for Ipoh (at the last freaking minute possible) a call from Keeren (the DCA) came in, asking me to be in UPM before 8am the next morning. Turns out, there were four of us: Keeren, Daniel, Nazirah and myself. Yunus showed up at UPM’s infamous 13th College fashionably late at 9am. His excuse, “I thought you guys would be an hour late.”

Our journey to Ipoh ran smoothly until Yunus’s car decided to cough up a stir and started smoking, literally-just like its faithful master. Fortunately we were just in time to cool off at the infamous Tapah R&R before continuing. Our layman’s diagnosis of the mechanical problem was that Keeren’s weight was too much for the car to bear. After a while we took off and headed straight to our destination. After a three hour journey, we arrived safely at the Royal College of Medicine Perak (RCMP). We were greeted courteously by the organizers. When we walked into the multi-purpose hall for some quick refreshment, hundreds of eyes were staring at the four of us, all with a puzzled look on their faces. Daniel without any second thought just gave them a 5 year old childish wave-where nobody waved back. Later, Yunus briefed us on what we should do as part of the adjudication core.

During the four-round prelims, an enormously vibrant excitement echoed as every participant from each campus hoped to exert their best efforts in winning the tournament as only one of them would be crowned champion of the UniKL President’s Cup and bring back the glory to their home turf. As the first round kick-started, the home team carved a smile on their faces, feeling more superior as the first round theme was Health. This is presumably due to their expectation as medical students which revolve around health issues. Apparently, even with great knowledge at hand, there is no assurance in winning. This was proven true as the team I adjudicated, the first home team lost to their arrival on the motion; THW allow advertisements for abortion clinics. They possessed a monumental amount of information regarding abortion procedures; however the way they portrayed and conveyed the message to the critical audience (this was heard repeatedly from Yunus) failed to significantly change the values of the audience.

As the preliminary round progressed, exhaustion grew and inevitably projected on the tired faces of the UniKL debaters. Fortunately, the third round saved the day. Instead of facing requirements to be right and precise all the time, debaters encountered Humour as their theme. The shock and the horror on the debater’s faces were priceless. Each one looked out for us to blame for coming up with such a crazy theme. Truth be told: I kind of felt like God.

As UNIKL RCMP 3rd presidential cup coming towards the end of the preliminary round, teams were done with their battles and struggled to advance into the breaking rounds. The next morning, after the hall filled with all the teams, came Yunus with a piece of paper in his hand, acting like Donald Trump, began his speech with acknowledgement just to stir the suspense in all of us. The eight breaking teams were finally announced. Applause, cheers and belly pounds –quite literally- by all the 8 teams broke the silence, not forgotten the rest of the teams who couldn’t make it to quarter looked mere sad and sorrow, with hopes and pledges in their heart to do better in the upcoming presidential cup.

One after another surprise emerged in UNIKL. During semi-final, the defending champion and last year finalist, MIAT and MICET lost to natural selection. With numbers of impressive newbie in RCMP team, they manage to proceed to the finals thus results in despair and dreadful faith for MICET. Likewise goes to MIAT, when all hopes and chances plundered in their hands, they were defeated by KMKN (Kolej Mara Kuala Nerang).

The world of debate in my opinion is just like a wild kingdom. Only the strongest shall lead the Matriarch. In the final, having the home team and KMKN in the preposition, with THW allow sport betting in Malaysia as the motion, it was an entertaining and unique round to watch. After 8 years of experience in debating, according to Yunus, and concurred by the rest of us, this tournament made us witnessed great and rare traits possessed by the finalist. Warm and lush loves in their heart projected every moment when any of the member in team about to give their speech. Hugs and hand shakes as in they are about to leave for nation’s battles touched the heart of audience endearingly and last but not least made a tremendous remark in the history of debating. With this advantage in hand, staggering team coherence, they own the first step to what it requires to be a champion in the world’s tournament. In addition, we feel the rest of the debaters should inherit this new trait nowadays.

Along with exhaustion in managing the tournament, enormous experience we gained and collected to share in this article. UNIKL presidential cup will grow and witness a great achievement in time to come as we can’t wait for the next tournament that will be held in MFI.