Someone went to watch our boys in a debate against St Michael's Ipoh, for Taylors College debating competition. When we enrolled the boys, we did tell them not to expect to win regardless of how good they are, because chances are Taylors would want to use this as a marketing tool - so only those who would consider going to Taylors seriously who might get to win. Malay kids, from Malay College Kuala Kangsar, most probably do not fall into that category.
So I had intended the whole thing as part of their learning process. The problem with some of our Malay students in SBP is they are too confined to the superficial world of SBPs. Sometimes they are oblivious to the great competition outside, especially from the non-Malays. So encounters like this can open up their eyes to the reality of the world.
I also wanted to expose them to the ugly side of Malaysian culture, which has become a permanent facet in our society - racism.
From the reports I received, the competition definitely met all the objectives. I just hope the kids grow more conscious of all these issues - it should make them more matured and better.
Anyway enjoy the abridged report from our very own Karam Singh Walia in Ipoh.
Match started at 2:40pm. ended around 4pm. Judges (all ladies, 2 indians 1 melayu pakai scarf) took world-record time of 45 mins to confer and deliberate. Our boys kept their speeches within the time limit (7 mins, 6 mins, 6 mins and 5mins for reply). SMI boys (all F4 students, 2 cinggam 1 kling) all on average exceeded their time by 1 minute plus. SMI debaters were Brian Hew, Jonathan Doyou and Jon Selindra.
Performance: All SMI boys started their speech with quotes like "i came, i saw, i conquer" (our boys then refer them as Shakespeare 1, 2 instead of Prime Minister or Deputy PM). All of them (SMI) read from notes tak ingat dunia, yang sorang tu siap bow-bow 4-5 kali masa rebuttal, dia ingat ni stage play kot. Yang aku menyampah sikit SMI ni diorang repeatedly said,"I'm telling this to your face, sir!' kurang ajar gile. lagi satu cilakanye SMI ni masa POI, took very long time (dekat 40 seconds) to pose the question.
aku tak ingat sangat apa SMI nye points, because it was so tak clear apa diorang argue. I just remember their 1 point on beauty shldnt be evaluated by contest. Their definitions pun , alahai, tak tau nak kata, macam nak tak nak je define. Beauty is defined as attractive body figure. The rest of debate they kept harping about poor fat women, they felt insulted because tak lawa hence tak boleh masuk beauty contests.
our boys: i did find it difficult to catch what ****** was saying (partly because microphone sound system tak bagus) and also, well the way ******** speaks. ******* was very very eager to go on stage, (according to Sherry he had prepared a long text speech filled with funny anecdotes and examples) but unfortunately, he ran out of time because he:
1) spent so much time to rebut at the beginning,
2) took 2 POIs at the beginning and again lost time to wait for SMI pose the qns and then nak menjawab.
****** just had 1 minute at end to deliver the 3rd point, no examples not much kupasan.
Oh yeah, our points we
1) evolution of beauty pageant to include intelligence & charisma
2) society perception
3) tak ingat.
Our re-definition of the motion also was good, on beauty = to include inner beauty but maybe is was ******, so tak clear sgt the delivery.
******, well, cocky and agak rude as usual on stage (repeatedly buat muka and gestures every time SMI speaks, and the way ****** cut off masa SMI bagi POI (cos took so long) agak kasar " yeah, yeah, sir, i know what u want to say". noted he was pissed off by the time he speaks, but he needs to contain his anger and remain professional la kot till the end.
alamak..dah 11:30...so, in the end, koleq kalah. but obvious bias gile lah.
the chief judge straight away jumpa SMI HM bagi tips n tricks, ignoring Sherry who was nearby!! chief judge kata kononnye it was a very close decision..ya haa...aku ngan sherry mati mati ingat koleq wallop SMI.
The chief judge bagi debrief abt judging, looked entirely kat our boys je..BOLEH!!
anyway, she said judges marked koleq down because our boys reading text too much, pronounciation and diction tak clear, takde manners pasal conferring with teammates masa SMI bercakap, tak confident pasal we gave speach from back of stage instead of infront.
Judge kata debate is abt public speaking, so content and points only constitute 7% of the markings. 52% on eye contact ngan audience 41% on pronounciation. oh yeah, another comment about koleq tak elaborate on points. just a statement and example.
tahlaa..fed-up aku dgn judges bias bangan camni.
Sherry was fed-up and angry too. She said kalau camni gaya bias nak menjatuhkan malay boys, next year dia tak nak join lagi dah taylors debate.
Well this is the country we live in. We don't reward those who deserve - everyone (and by that I mean the Malays, Chinese and Indians and all the rest) practiced racism to the core and the people who are most vocal to claim themselves as victims of racism unconsciously or consciously practised it all the time.
We could not have a talent competition without racism getting in the way, we definitely cannot have a debating competition for our kids without racism dictating the day too.