Kamarudin (second left) presents a token of appreciation to Asfia (centre).

KOTA SAMARAHAN: Participants of the Humanitarian Open Debate (Detak) 2020 competition were praised by State Legislative Assembly (DUN) Speaker Datuk Amar Mohammad Asfia Awang Nassar.

In his speech, he commended the participants for showing high standards and quality throughout the   competition.

“Their voices were pleasing to the ears, and they possess great abilities.

“This reminds me of the time when I was debating for my university in England, the University of Leeds,” said Asfia when officiating at the Detak 2020 closing ceremony at Arena Gemilang, DeTAR Putra, Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (Unimas) here last Monday.

The Speaker advised the participants to master other languages besides Bahasa Malaysia. 

“We have always intended to produce young parliamentarians who are good speakers to represent the state and ultimately, the country. But, they have to master more than only one language.

Kamarudin (second left) presents a token of appreciation to Asfia (centre).

“If the debate is in English such as in the United Nations, we are able to speak in our mother’s tongue where translations will be provided. However, arguments tend to be less effective when translated,” he clarified.

A total of 32 teams from 18 local higher education institutions participated in Detak 2020.

The British Parliamentary style debate contest, held from Feb 21 to 24, was the first of its kind to be hosted by Unimas.

The competition was organised by Unimas De’Orator Club, a public speaking club for Unimas students, in collaboration with the Malaysian Universities Debating Council (Madum), Islamic Relief Malaysia (IRM), and the Incredible Heart Company Plt.

The overall winner of the debate was Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM) after defeating Universiti Malaysia Sabah (UMS), Universiti Teknologi MARA (UiTM) Shah Alam Campus and Universiti Teknologi Petronas (UTP) in the final stage of the competition.

Through the competition, Unimas had also raised RM7,000 in donations for the Misi Bantuan Gandum Buat Syria managed by IRM. 

Also present during the closing ceremony were Unimas vice-chancellor (Student Affairs and International) Prof Dr Kamarudin Kana and IRM chief executive officer Zairulshahfuddin Zainal Abidin.