Team Amron wins fourth edition of Borneo British Parliamentary Championship
By Danielle Sendou Ringgit
Congratulations to Don Siron Pereira and Amrit Agastia of team AMRON for winning the fourth British Borneo Parliamentary Championship (BBPC) championship title!
“I just wanted to give a good speech and to improve myself, hoping it would turn into a good debate and that maybe we’d win, but learning is first and winning is second,” said Amrit when asked what went through her mind during the debate session for the grand final.
Demonstrating an obvious chemistry and solid partnership during the debate session, both Siron and Pereira, who represented the government side, are familiar with each other’s style of debating, agreeing that they both share similarities in style.
As the debating coach for national team – Team Malaysia – Siron, who is now working as a research officer, also won the ‘Best Speaker’ title.
Held at Unimas from November 26th until 29th, the open team competition was organised by the Unimas Debating Society and was participated by 36 teams from universities in Malaysia as well as Hong Kong, Singapore, and Taiwan and local secondary school teams such as SMK Batu Lintang, SMK Sains Kuching Utara and Lodge International School.
The grand final of BBPC was held on November 29th at the Student Pavillion, Unimas saw four teams; Siron and Pereira of team AMRON, Hariharan Ambalavanan and Nar Sher May from National University of Singapore as the opening opposition, Mark Siew and Nicholas Lim from Asia Pacific University as the closing government and Mithrun Swaminathan and Sri Kanda Raj from HELP University as the closing government competing intensely for the championship title.
With the debating topic – ‘THBT (This House Believes That) Theocratic States should ban research into the existence of God’ – Albert Kamahlendra of the Unimas Debating Society, who was also one of the seven judging panel and a trainer of Unimas Debating Society, said that the judging was primarily based on the content and the way the debaters spoke.
“The second thing that we look for is your engagement. We want teams who can respond to questions raised by the other side. We thought opening government did this very, very well because they responded to the questions even before they were asked,” said Albert.
“So, they (the opening government team) engaged very well with the opposition,” he said noting how they responded immediately to the opposing side as well as their rebuttal style.
The BBPC is an annual event organised by Unimas Debating Society in Sarawak. It was first organised in 2012 with the aim to promote the debating culture locally. It is participated by teams from various universities nationwide as well as internationally.
With the theme of Borneo, external participants are treated with some sightseeing in Kuching during their leisure.
“This year we had an extended period, because we wanted the participants to have the time to explore Kuching and experience what the city is like,” said Albert.
As for next year, Albert looks to expand, hoping to get participation from secondary school teams by arranging for a different category or them.
Also present for the closing ceremony of BBPC was deputy vice-chancellor (student affairs and alumni) Prof Mohd Fadzil Abdul Rahman who said that since the tournament was organised in 2012, the vision remains the same, which is to offer a platform for debaters to express their opinions on current issues and sharpen their debating skills.
“Debating not only helps raise the standard of English, but forces the debaters to construct their arguments at the same time,” he said during his speech.
“To be able to achieve this, the debaters themselves must be well read and possess an analytical mindset to complement the university’s aspiration to produce graduates of great versatility who are not only good in academics but also possess good communication skills.”